And… Action! Testing in the Time of Corona
Guest blog post by SetTest
SetTest has secured private laboratory capacity for COVID testing, available now (October 2020), and is scaling to increase over the next ninety days. Clients are rushing to reserve access to this Health Canada-approved, accredited testing capability that is impervious to the fluctuations of public health and provides reliable turnaround times.
When many sets across Canada heard “Cut!” for the last time on Friday the 13th of March 2020, there was no sense of how long it would last or how things would change. Tens of thousands of motion picture industry professionals across the country stayed home for months, with no choice but to watch, rather than create, countless hours of content. But these are creative problem-solvers, and immediately they began to develop guidelines and create solutions to get people safely back to work.
When it was determined that frequent testing for COVID was going to be required, it was clear that the industry would need partners who understand the medical system as well as motion picture production and its idiosyncrasies. Dr. Sam Gutman and Sandi Richter Cooper undertook to bridge the gap between medicine and industry.
The SetTest Background:
Dr. Sam Gutman, an ER physician and founder of Rockdoc Consulting, has provided concierge medical services to the industry for over 25 years. He and his staff have been providing complex logistics expertise and medical services for live production across Canada and around the world.
With live events and mass gatherings on pause during the pandemic, Rockdoc has pivoted, deploying its extensive infrastructure, resources and staff to meet the needs of motion picture production. Together with Sandi Richter Cooper, the immediate-past BC Film Commissioner, they have been working with productions to navigate the new COVID safety and testing requirements, providing the needed interface between production and medicine.
This SetTest team has decades of motion picture industry experience and they know what it takes to keep production on schedule. Their staff has a proven and trusted track record of reliability and responsiveness to provide the standard of film-friendly service and flexibility that the industry demands.
Since cameras started rolling again, the SetTest team has provided COVID services and administered thousands of tests for cast and crew on more than 40 film, television and commercial productions in BC and Ontario. With a scientific eye, the team stays informed as medical solutions emerge and adapts to continue to meet the industry’s evolving needs.
The SetTest Process:
At a studio, hotel, residence, office or location, Set Test deploys qualified, production-savvy professionals for onsite collection of specimens using bilateral nasal swabs that are transported to an accredited laboratory facility that uses Health Canada-approved polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology.
Test results are reported to the production as soon as they’re available, within 24-72 hours. Reporting is timely, secure and PIPEDA-compliant (comparable to HIPAA-compliant in the US). Our team covers all aspects of general healthcare needs for the motion picture industry, including flu shots, and a full range of specialized COVID services. Custom packages are created for each production with pricing based on each project’s unique requirements.
With the currently approved and available PCR testing, there had been a bottleneck at the lab, as the entire industry had been dependent on a single accredited lab for processing. With reasonable priority on public health demands, and a sudden massive need from productions, coordination and turnaround time at the lab became unpredictable. To meet the moment, the SetTest team created near-term and long-term end-to-end independent solutions that are now being deployed.
About the SetTest Team:
Dr. Sam Gutman, Chief Medical Officer of Rockdoc, is Canada’s most experienced Medical Director for mass gatherings, events and entertainment, and has designed and operated the medical and emergency programs for large-scale music festivals, concerts and mass gatherings, including Ironman and the Olympic Games. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, with affiliates across Canada, Rockdoc has decades of experience providing urgent and continuing healthcare and helping clients effectively navigate public and private healthcare systems.
SetTest founder Sandi Richter Cooper, immediate-past BC Film Commissioner, with decades of physical production experience, collaborates to support the motion picture industry. BC, Canada’s largest production center, has the experience, infrastructure, talent, locations and collaborative community necessary to face new industry challenges as they evolve.