Testing in schools
Why these tests?
People without symptoms can also pass on COVID-19 to other people. According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), more than half of cases of COVID-19 transmission involve people who are unaware that they are carrying coronavirus. Testing in schools increases the likelihood of identifying these individuals and therefore breaking chains of infection. By voluntarily participating in testing in schools, pupils, teachers and specialist staff are making an important contribution to the gradual reopening of the economy and society as a whole. The tests also increase protection for people in the high-risk group. Thanks to regular testing, entire classes do not have to quarantine because of one positive case of COVID-19, schools can stay open and lessons can take place on site.
Which schools are taking part?
The “testing in schools” programme is made up of stages:
At the moment, only primary school classes 2 - 6 can take part in the “testing in schools” programme. From June 2021, the programme will gradually also be opened up to nursery and primary school class 1.
Sec I and Sec II will also be able to participate in the “testing in schools” programme after the summer holidays. This has been determined by child and adolescent health services (KID) of the Department of Health Basel-Stadt in consultation with the Department of Education. This gradual approach enables the necessary set-up and expansion of logistics and laboratory capacity for transport and analysis of tests.
Participation and costs
- Participation in testing in schools is voluntary for pupils, as well as for teachers and specialist staff. Registration is done through the school.
- It is possible to join and leave the testing programme at any time.
- A declaration of consent is required for participation. The declaration of consent for minors must be signed by their legal guardian.
- Participation in testing in schools is free. The canton and the Federal Government have jointly undertaken to pay the costs of the programme.
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 may not participate in serial testing for 6 months. Tests can still be positive for this period after infection and would entail self-isolation.
- People who have been vaccinated should not take part in repetitive testing during the first six months after their vaccination because they are considered to be protected