Coronavirus testMembers of staff

Information about participation

In coordination with the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH), the university leadership wishes also to offer staff in the institutes, centres, central facilities and administration the opportunity of a test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-19 with this new method.

In coordination with the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH), the university leadership wishes also to offer staff in the institutes, centres, central facilities and administration the opportunity of a test for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-19 with this new method.

In addition to observing the hygiene rules and social distancing, staff members can avail themselves of a coronavirus gargling test that was developed at the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH). It aims to support the measures against the spread of the virus and possible new mutants in order to detect asymptomatic carriers of the virus and persons who have not yet developed symptoms, and to interrupt possible infection chains early on. To this end, test kits can be requested from the directors of the respective institutes/facilities. The samples will then be evaluated for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viruses by the test station that the ZMBH has set up with the virology division in its area of virological diagnostics.

The samples can be analysed within eight hours with the aid of a robotics platform and isothermal nucleic acid evidence. In order to participate in the test opportunity, it is necessary to sign up with the test station, which will provide the appropriate number of test kits. Staff wishing to take part must register their kit online (www.uni-heidelberg.de/de/coronatest), thereby indicating their consent to participating in the study, which is pseudonymised. Contact details will be encrypted so that the test takes place anonymously. Participants can carry out the test kit to obtain the gargling sample at home, if possible straight after getting up in the morning before breakfast or cleaning their teeth. The samples will be collected and taken to the test station for evaluation. That very evening or during the following day, the results will be available and can be accessed online with the aid of an individual number (the pseudonym). Positive test results will be reported to the health authority, which will decrypt the contact details for contact tracing.

By decision of the Rectorate, the cost of the coronavirus test for employees in the institutes, centres, central facilities and administration will be covered from the central budget.

The test capacity of the station is limited (approx. 1000 tests per day) and is allocated according to a priority list, with on-campus lectures/classes and student examinations taking precedence. The test station reserves the right to determine the priorities depending on the course of the pandemic, in consultation with the university leadership.

Procedure

Who, how and how often tests take place, and how the kits are distributed internally, is up to the institutes and facilities.

STEP ONE – registering the participating facility

Please register the participation of your institute/facility and the staff member responsible at coronatest@uni-heidelberg.de or on tel. +49 1525 7908378

STEP TWO – procuring the test kit by the facility

Test kits cannot be made available individually – the participation of the facility, institute or department is required. An institute/facility must register so that its members can be tested. The approximate number of test kits will then be supplied per week. The test kits must be picked up by a specific, registered person. Test kits are distributed in bags of 50 at INF 324, 4th floor, room 409, Monday to Friday from 9 to 11am.

STEP THREE – distributing the test kits and individual implementation

The test kits will be handed out to staff members within a facility to take home. The staff members have to register their test kits with the enclosed access code, which must be kept in order to access the result online.

STEP FOUR – taking the gargling sample

Please note the short directions (below) for taking the gargling sample.

STEP FIVE – returning the sample tube for analysis

The staff members can return the tubes as follows:

  1. Bring them to work and put them in a central collection box in the facility or institute. The registered person will take the collected sample tubes in their collection boxes to the test station at INF 324, 4th floor, Monday to Friday by 10:30.
  2. Alternatively, the staff members can themselves deposit their sample tubes at two collection points (sample letter boxes), emptied several times a day from Monday to Friday:
    – Old Town: entrance area of the University Library, Plöck 107-109
    – Im Neuenheimer Feld: entrance area of the Theoretikum, INF 305 (near the Unishop)

The test samples submitted will be analysed on three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Samples delivered on Tuesday will be analysed on Wednesday and those delivered on Thursday will be analysed on Friday. 

The test results will be available about eight hours after the sample has reached the test laboratory. If the samples are submitted by 10 am on the morning of one of the three days set aside for analysis the results can be accessed the same day.

STEP SIX – accessing the results

The test result will be accessible via an access code enclosed in the test kit.

STEP SEVEN – contact tracing

Positive tests will be validated by a certified PCR test and reported to the public health authority, according to the statutory requirement to notify it, so that it can begin tracing contacts. To support the health authority it is recommended that persons who have tested positive turn to the university’s central team for COVID-19 reporting. There they will receive confidential advice and support: meldung.corona@uni-heidelberg.de