SARS-CoV-2 antigen self-tests

SARS-Cov-2 antigen self-tests (1 test per employee working in attendance per calendar week) can only be requested via the respective organizational unit. Unfortunately, individual requests may not be submitted at this time.

 

University takes part in the distribution of self-tests

The university is participating in the introduction of rapid coronavirus tests for self-administration and so-called "self-tests" for employees of the state of Lower Saxony. This provides the university with another instrument for increasing workplace safety.

Tests may be issued only to employees who work on site and not to those who work exclusively from home, who are ill, on vacation, or otherwise absent.

The university is required to submit a weekly report to the Ministry of Science (MWK) concerning the number of tests its employees have claimed. Only the number of tests that have actually been claimed may be reordered for the following week. Therefore, if you are still unsure as to whether you would like to test yourself continuously on a weekly basis, we recommend that you place an order during the initial phase so that the university is able to maintain its reordering privileges. This will allow the university to avoid an unnecessary shortage of tests as demand develops.

Whether the option of weekly self-tests can create more safety for individuals and us all will largely depend on the extent to which we use this additional instrument sensibly and see it as merely an additional safeguard. At present, these tests cannot serve as an instrument for easing restrictions.

What is a self-test?

A so-called self-test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is an antigen test intended for use by private individuals. The sample collection and evaluation for these tests is designed to be simple. For example, a swab in the nasal vestibule is sufficient for sampling. When performing the test, the instructions for use must be followed.

The result of the self-test only serves to detect undiagnosed infections. It is not documented and therefore cannot be used to visit any particular facilities or events.

Self-tests have a higher error rate than PCR tests. Therefore, each positive rapid and self-test must be confirmed by administering a PCR test. Further information on the different types of tests can be found in section "General corona-related information (hygiene/​symptoms/sickness/protection/​etc.)"

How to order and collect self-tests for employees

Effective immediately, the organizational units may collectively order and pick up self-tests. 

In order to avoid crowds and contacts, tests are to be collected in bundles by a person authorized by the respective organizational unit. The tests will be issued upon submission of the requisite form (in German), completed and signed by the head of the unit.

Tests (one test per person working in attendance per calendar week) must be collected from the respective organizational unit and signed for upon receipt by the employees themselves. Eligibility for these tests may not be transferred.

The heads of the organizational units are responsible for documenting test collection and retaining the distribution slip (in German).

The process for ordering self-tests is outlined in this flow chart (in German).

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Tests are issued only upon submission of the requisite form.
  • Unfortunately, individual requests for a test cannot be accomodated at this time.
  • Tests may be issued only to employees who work on site and not to those who work exclusively from home, who are ill, on vacation, or otherwise absent.
  • Please bring a suitable receptacle (e.g. a carboard box or a sufficiently large bag).
  • Please do not perform the test at or near the pick-up station!

How to perform a self-test

Instructions on how to perform a self-test can be found here (in German).

The reliability of the test result depends on the quality of the sample taken.

Please dispose of used self-tests in accordance with the enclosed instrutions.

What to do in case of a positive self-test

If a self-test returns a positive result, you must immediately report to Division 1 using the "Coronavirus reporting form" and to your local health department. You must then seek medical treatment or visit a rapid test center immediately, isolating yourself until your diagnosis has been clarified.

The following applies to individuals who have tested positive:

A PCR test must be administered to confirm your result. This may be done at a general practitioner's office, an official testing center or testing site. If the PCR test returns a negative result for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the local health department must be notified so that a potential quarantine order can be lifted. In addition, please inform Division 1 directly via e-mail or online using the "Coronavirus reporting form".

Why does it make sense to perform a self-test?

Ideally, a positive self-test detects persons who have already been infected with the coronavirus and do not yet show any typical symptoms at an early stage. Upon return of a positive self-test, protective measures can be taken immediately, thus preventing the spread of possible infection in a workplace and among colleagues, students, family and acquaintances. However, the test result is only a snapshot. Therefore, even if the result is negative, compliance with the university's hygiene rules is still important. As the spread of the significantly more infectious mutations is currently increasing, this compliance is more important than ever before.

(04/30/2021)