COVID-19 Testing & Screening for Employers

Color works with employers to provide technology-driven, COVID-19 testing and population screening to mitigate outbreaks and reduce the risk of workplace transmissions.

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Scalable Infrastructure & Program

Color’s automated testing infrastructure was designed for large-scale, distributed workforce testing. We operate a high-capacity, CLIA-certified lab that processes tens of thousands of tests daily, averaging a 24-hour turnaround.1

Color operates under FDA Emergency Use Authorizations for clinician-monitored and self-swab testing that can be done at home or onsite, ideal for rapid deployment of high-frequency testing in large populations.

Population Health Infrastructure

Color’s integrated software is designed for population screening with access to real-time data, built-in privacy, and integrated workflows. Employees provide consent for testing and HIPAA authorization as part of the sign-up process, and data flows can be integrated with HR, occupational safety and health teams to trigger appropriate downstream actions if individuals receive a positive test result or to update workforce re-entry protocols.

Experience & Expertise

Color works with hundreds of companies and large public entities including the City of San Francisco, where we process over 2,000 tests per day with an average 24-hour turnaround.1   We provide organizations with an integrated program including program management, logistics, best practices, and effective communication strategies.

Read the latest on Color’s COVID-19 response in the media here ›

“Color’s workforce testing program gives us the best tools available to ensure our teams’ health and safety and to contribute to the effort of getting our country back to work.”

– Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President of Morehouse School of Medicine

Case study: City of San Francisco

38,000 city employees: health, police, fire, transit, policy

4 days to integrate city systems & rosters

98% of results returned within 48 hours, average 24-hour turnaround

In April 2020, the City of San Francisco partnered with Color to create a flexible COVID-19 testing model for essential employees. In just 4 days we integrated city systems and rosters and enabled the city to identify potential exposures to COVID-19 and route those individuals to testing.

Test results are automatically returned to employees, their primary care physicians, the City’s Public Health Department, and San Francisco’s HR department. This allows the city team to initiate case management, quarantine measures, and contact tracing protocols for populations like social workers supporting homeless shelters with outbreaks, police officers, and high-risk individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Due to the success of its initial phase, the CityTestSF program has now expanded beyond City of San Francisco employees to include essential workers from both the private and non-profit sectors as well as city residents. 

Does your organization include clinical staff? Check out our COVID Essential program >

Additional Resources

Outbreak Modeling Tool

Model the effect of proactive testing to see how frequent testing and fast turnaround time is vital in containing outbreaks. Created with Carl Bergstrom and Ryan McGee.

Use the Model

Return to Work Protocol

Color has developed a framework to quickly detect and prevent SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in populations, while protecting the health and well-being of individuals.

Learn More

RT-LAMP Diagnostic Assay

Read more about Color’s SARS-CoV-2 RT-LAMP Diagnostic Assay, for which Color received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA.

Read More

Color’s COVID-19 Testing FAQs


Color uses nucleic acid amplification techniques (LAMP and RT-PCR) to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Learn more about our testing and assay


 We support dry and wet anterior nares swabs (not deep swabbing, also known as AN), and nasopharyngeal swabs (deep swabbing, also known as NP). Our dry nasal swabs are intended for COVID-19 unmonitored tests, and AN and nasopharyngeal swabs must be administered or monitored by a clinician.

Getting tested takes about 10–15 minutes. Results typically take 24-72 hours, and in practice our average turnaround is 24 hours, though the actual time may vary. Turnaround time is the usual number of hours from the time a specimen is accessioned at the laboratory to when the result is released to the participant and ordering provider.

Depending on the type of program you have, Color will provide a unique URL or program code that allows participants to schedule a 30 minute timeframe for their 10-15 minute appointment. They’ll be asked for information such as phone number, email address, home address, and primary healthcare provider information if they wish to have results sent to their clinician. 


First, participants confirm some basic information to check-in at the Color testing site. Then they proceed to sample collection where they provide consent for the test, and provide the sample via nasal swab. They’ll also receive a handout with a sample-specific barcode for results release.


When test results become available, participants receive an email and text message notification that links them to a HIPAA-compliant portal to view their results.

For university, employer, and public entity programs, we provide HR teams with a program dashboard to effectively monitor participant health. The participant and ordering physician receive results directly through Color’s participant and provider portals. Participants provide consent for testing and HIPAA authorization for results sharing as part of our scheduling system before being tested.


Color has created a framework to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, which can be found in our Return to On-Site Screening Strategies white paper.

Safeguarding the privacy and security of personal health information is among our most important responsibilities. You may view our COVID terms of serviceNotice of Privacy Practices, COVID HIPAA authorization, and COVID informed consent to learn more.

Contact us

To learn more about our workforce testing programs, fill out this form and a member of our team will get back to you.

Testing frequency, participants, etc.

Thanks for your submission.

Our team will be in touch soon. In the meantime, here are some helpful links:

1. Color Genomics, Inc. Turnaround time by Collection Batch (July 2020). Burlingame, CA: Color Data Science.