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.)"

Self-tests for employees

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

In order to avoid crowds and contacts during collection, an authorised person from the OU collects the self-tests from the distribution points in Wechloy, BI laboratory supply depot W3 0-135 against submission of the fully completed form (in German), 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!

Self-tests for students

The University will provide all students with a limited number of Corona layman's self-tests for voluntary use on a one-off basis during the first weeks of the winter semester 2022/2023. They will be handed out at two locations between 5 (noon) and 21 October: on the Haarentor campus in the foyer of building V03 (main entrance) and on the ring level from the Wechloy campus.

Supplementary protective measures are planned for practical sport and music courses and examinations where masks cannot be worn for good reason. If necessary, up to two Corona layman's self-tests per week can be issued to students at such events. Ordering and issuing is done via the respective departments or lecturers.

Are there multiple tests per person?

The university issues two SARS-CoV2 antigen tests per week to employees who work on site and not to those who work exclusively from home, who are ill, on vacation, or otherwise absent.

These tests are provided by the state of Lower Saxony under the condition that no other university funds are used to procure tests.

Whether additional tests may be made available to certain individuals or for particular activites is currently under review.

Does the university issue test certificates?

Not at the moment. However, the Presidental Board is reviewing whether it may be possible to do so in the future.

Distribution locations and hours, delivery by internal mail

General opening hours

Wechloy campus - Laboratory supply depot W3 0-135:
Mon. - Fri. 9:30 am - 12:00 pm;
Mon. - Thu. 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Please use the entire window of time to avoid crowds and contacts during pick-up. Please adhere to applicable hygiene regulations.

Alternatively, FFP2 masks can be delivered by internal mail. Due to staffing shortages, however, delivery may be delayed, and delivery on the following day cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to receive FFP2 masks by internal mail, please scan the form, attach it to an e-mail and send to:

Important: Please include your office address in the e-mail!

Is it possible for organizational units to procure self-tests using their own funding?

The university issues two SARS-CoV2 antigen tests per week to employees who work on site and not to those who work exclusively from home, who are ill, on vacation, or otherwise absent.

These tests are provided by the state of Lower Saxony under the condition that no other university funds (including funding from organizational units) are used to procure tests.

Self-test results only serve the purpose of detecting undiagnosed infection. They cannot replace any of the required hygiene measures (masks, social distancing, minimum area requirements, etc.), but should be viewed as an additional layer of safety.

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.

(12/19/2022)