NASA is looking at strategies for testing employees in the course of executing essential and / or mission critical agency activities, to include:
Travel Related Testing- Many countries, and even some states and private companies, are requiring a test 72 hours prior to travel. Several countries are requiring this test to be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, due to the higher sensitivity.
Mission Related Testing- In the course of keeping critical personnel safe and preventing a mission impact, it is becoming increasingly necessary to test personnel who have access to the astronauts (trainers, rescue personnel, etc). It is also becoming necessary to maintain the vigilance and safety of NASA critical operations.
Employees Identified in a Case Tracing at Work- If the employee was exposed in the course of doing work, they may require testing both to ensure the safety of their family, in accordance with public health strategies for quarantine, and to identify those critical workers that may need to return to work if un-infected.
Employees Returning from Foreign Travel- Prolonged exposures in a commercial aircraft, multiple social contacts in the course of doing business abroad, reliance of outside vendors for food and transport, all may put employees at increased risk for infection especially if they were in areas where the viral cases are endemic or increasing.
The Agency Office of the Chief Medical Officer has determined that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test has the broadest application for those undertaking travel, those working critical operations, those identified in a workplace case tracing, and those returning from overseas travel. NASA is seeking a provider that is able to provide nationwide service in which PCR is the method of testing.