FAQ

General questions

Who takes part in the tests?
  • All participants who are healthy or who do not have any corona-specific symptoms can take part in the tests.
  • All students, teachers and specialists at primary, lower secondary and upper secondary level can take part in the tests. 
Who cannot be tested?
  • People who have had Covid-19 during the past 6 weeks are not allowed to participate in testing.
Does my child have to take a test?
  • Participation in the tests is voluntary.
Where and how often are the tests done?
  • The tests are done in school.
  • They are done during the normal timetable.
  • Testing is done weekly.
Who does the sampling?
  • The students carry out the test independently and give the sample to their teacher.
How is the test done?
  • The test procedure is based on a saliva sample and does NOT involve a nasopharyngeal swab. Children give their saliva samples as a class, together with the teacher. The children mix the saline solution with the saliva in their mouth for 10 seconds and then spit into the test tube.
When is the test done?
  • Tests in schools are always done in the morning before the long break. Children must leave at least 60 minutes between brushing their teeth and eating (not even chewing gum) or drinking (apart from water) and taking the test, otherwise the test cannot be analysed correctly.
How long does testing take?
  • Testing takes about 10 minutes in total.
What happens to the samples after they have been taken?
  • The samples will be collected together in the school secretary’s office before being transported straight to the laboratory by courier.
How do we get the test result?
  • The testing persons receive their test result individually via e-mail or SMS.
What happens if a test is positive?
  • In case of a positive result, sick children should stay at home and avoid contact with other persons until they are fever-free (without medication) and in good general condition for at least 24 hours. After that, they can attend school, kindergarten or daycare again.
  • They should avoid contact with persons who are at high risk (e.g. elderly people) for 10 days.
  • Individuals who test positive will be forwarded to the FOPH and contacted by Contact Tracing. The school administration will also be informed.
Can I withdraw my child from testing?
  • Yes, the tests take place on a voluntary basis. Opting out of the tests is therefore possible at any time.
    Because the serial tests can detect asymptomatic infections at an early stage, participation in the mass tests is still useful and recommended.
  • Recovered children do not participate in testing for 6 weeks. Other medical exceptions are registered by the school management.
What do the tests cost?
  • The repetitive tests are free of charge.
Is collecting saliva samples in the classroom safe?
  • Yes. Taking the samples will not cause the urge to sneeze or cough. No aerosols are dispersed. Hygiene regulations must be followed at all times.
  • The classroom is ventilated and all children wash their hands before testing.
Do the tests screen for mutations?
  • The saliva samples are tested for the presence of coronavirus fragments. Specification can be done as part of individual testing.
What is a saline solution?
  • The solution used for saliva tests at schools is an isotonic and sterile saline solution (0.9% salt to 10 ml water) with a CE label. It is delivered to the schools in sterile miniature ampoules (single doses) and is usually opened by the test subjects themselves.
How is it ensured that tests are done correctly?
  • The saliva test is very easy to do and is the most reliable method because practically nothing can go wrong.
  • It is important that people taking part do not eat, drink or brush their teeth an hour before testing. This can affect the test result.
How is data protection guaranteed?
  • In the case of individual tests, the cell phone number of one or both parents is recorded for the direct transmission of the result. Data protection agreements with the partner firms ensure that data protection is guaranteed at all times.

 

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For employees of participating schools

Who cannot participate in serial testing at school?
  • People who have had a positive COVID-19 test during the past 6 weeks are not allowed to participate. If the result was more than 6 weeks ago, the individual can join the program.
Where can I find the instructions for the PCR saliva test?
How will I find out my test results?
  • Participants are informed of their individual test result by SMS. If the participant didn’t give a mobile telephone number when they registered, they will be informed of the test result via email.
I forgot to scan/check or confirm the barcode on the vacuum tube. What can I do?
  • Individual samples that cannot be assigned in the laboratory will be destroyed. Please participate in repetitive testing again next week.
What can employees with foreign cell phone numbers do if no result can be transmitted to them due to technical difficulties?
  • If results frequently cannot be transmitted to German or French network providers, we invite these persons to choose the e-mail notification.
What if I miss a test date?
  • You should get tested again on the next available test date.
Can employees keep working as normal while waiting for their test result?
  • Yes – provided that the currently applicable hygiene measures are adhered to and the individual being tested does not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
What should I do if there isn’t a barcode on the test tube?
  • Please contact the person responsible for administration at your school location.
Can people take part in repetitive testing if they do not have their own smartphone?
  • Yes. However, they do need internet access and their own email address. When registering, the test person has to tick the box “I would like to participate via email because I do not have a smartphone”. Ticking this box makes email address a mandatory field and the mobile number can be left out.
Are people tested if they have been vaccinated?
  • Yes, people who have been vaccinated can also take part in the tests in schools. Because the serial tests can be used to detect asymptomatic infections at an early stage, participation in the mass tests continues to be useful.

 

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Post-compulsory schools

Should I get vaccinated?
  • Yes, vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to protect oneself against the disease and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 in our society.
Is there an offer for regular testing at the post-compulsory schools?
  • Regular tests are offered at the schools on a weekly basis. Information on this can be found here.
What needs to be taken into account when one is ill or shows symptoms of illness?
  • In the event of illness, learners and employees - as was the case before the Corona crisis - do not return to school or to work until they have been fever-free for 24 hours and the general symptoms have largely subsided. This also applies in the case of a positive COVID test.

 

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