Mass testing in establishments

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Since April Establishments that are headquartered in the Canton of Basel-Stadt have the opportunity to have their employees tested on a weekly basis for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Regular testing of asymptomatic individuals allows virus carriers to be picked up early and chains of infection to be broken.

Adjusted testing strategy

As of February 17, 2022, the federal government will only fund serial testing in limited areas, such as health care facilities and socio-medical institutions, as well as companies defined by the canton that serve to maintain critical infrastructure.

Type of tests

The Canton of Basel-Stadt is using pooled PCR saliva tests for testing in establishments. With this type of test, employees can take their sample independently (e.g. at home) by gargling a saline solution (no nasopharyngeal swab necessary). Each test person receives an individually valid result via SMS no later than 24 hours after receipt in the laboratory. Pooling (mixing of samples) takes place in the laboratory.

Repetitive testing in establishments using the rapid antigen test is also possible in principle. However, approval restrictions and the specialist staff required would make this more difficult for establishments to carry out at the moment.

You can find more detailed information about the test types on the website of the FOPH.

Obtaining a COVID certificate

Since September 2021, persons who have been tested repetitively by their establishment with pooled PCR saliva tests have the possibility of receiving a COVID certificate whith a negative test result. 

Activation of this option was previously only possible at the request of the person responsible for the establishment. 
According to the Federal Council's decision, from 1 February 2022 all persons participating in a serial testing programme must be able to request a COVID certificate. Consequently, all registered establishments will be automatically activated for this option in the future. For more information, please see the section Obtaining a COVID certificate.

Certificate of participation

The certificate of participation is a document that proves participation in the repetitive PCR pooling programme of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. It is available to all companies that have continued to make testing compulsory for their company.

The document only certifies that the participants have taken part in the weekly tests. By request of the company, the employee can use this document to prove that he/she has taken part in the tests.

The certificate of participation does not indicate a test result. The test result is communicated independently of the certificate of participation as usual in the form of a text message or by means of a certificate.

Companies that demand repetitive testing can have the certificate of participation activated via covid.massentest.betrieb@bs.ch.

Conditions of participation

  • Participation is free of charge and limited to health care facilities, socio-medical institutions, and businesses defined by the canton that are part of maintaining critical infrastructure.
  • Participation is voluntary both for establishments and for their employees.
  • A person may only be tested once per week (exception: social medical institutions).
  • The tests are done weekly and are intended for people without symptoms. 
  • This includes both non-vaccinated and vaccinated people (including booster vaccination). People who have a positive antibody test can also participate.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 may not participate in serial testing for 6 weeks. Tests can still be positive for this period after infection. This regulation does not apply to individual tests in the event of symptoms, but only relates to serial testing.
  • Due to the vulnerable setting, we recommend that employees in retirement and nursing homes, as well as Spitex employees, have themselves serially tested even after a full vaccination.
  • The use of tests as part of protection concepts is not a substitute for hygiene and behavioral rules or the implementation of existing protection concepts.

The establishment has the following duties during implementation:

  • Definition of a contact person for coordination and communication by the establishment
  • Internal distribution of test kits to employees
  • Collection and dispatch/transport of samples to the logistics collection point in the canton

Registration

Businesses can now register using this online form. Please note that the following information is required for online registration:

Information about groups of individuals

  • Total number of employees in the establishment
  • Number of employees on site (not working full-time from home)
  • Estimated number of individuals to be tested

Further information

  • Choice of test type (PCR saliva test (recommended) or rapid antigen test)
  • Safety policy (to be submitted via file upload at the end of the form)

Establishments that have already been registered after asking the canton about testing still have to register using the form.

It is also important to note that subsequent registration on the testing platform is done by the employees themselves and requires a smartphone.

Next Steps

Once you have registered we will check your application. Due to high demand, this process may take some time.

As soon as you have been accepted into the testing program, we will contact you and give you details about the next steps (briefing).

Download:

Testing process in establishments