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Note on the Covid-19 antigen test
On 13 April 2021, Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil presented to the Federal Cabinet how he will extend and supplement the SARS CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV). The amendments will be made by ordinance and are expected to come into force after publication in the Federal Gazette in mid-Week 16.
Employers are obliged to offer regular self-tests and rapid tests in their companies to all employees who do not work exclusively in a home office: In principle at least once a week,
at least twice a week for employees who are particularly at risk, who have frequent contact with customers due to their work or who perform services close to the body. Employees who are accommodated by the employer in shared accommodation must also be offered testing 2 times a week.
Our tests are listed as antigen tests by the BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) and most of them have been evaluated by the Paul Ehrlich Institute. The file number of the special approval: e.g. 5640-S-57/21 guarantees lay approval.
The effectiveness of antigen tests is expressed in terms of sensitivity and specificity:
- Sensitivity, is the percentage with which a diseased person tests positive: A test with a sensitivity of e.g. 98 % identifies 98 out of 100 diseased persons, only 2 are not detected.
- Specificity, is the percentage with which a non-infected person is identified as healthy: A test with a specificity of e.g. 95 % produces a false positive result in 5 out of 100 healthy persons.
Difference between layman's self-test and professional test
PoC tests are the "gold standard" among corona tests. Samples are taken by medical personnel - the evaluation for SARS-CoV-2 works according to a similar principle as pregnancy tests. They can only be carried out by trained personnel. Due to the amended Medical Devices Dispensing Ordinance, trained personnel includes those who have undergone training prior to performing the tests (e.g. through our training video provided).
Types of test
- Nasal test (rod test for the nasal inlet)
- Rod test for a swab in the deep nasal or throat area
- Spit / saliva test (filling the tube with saliva)
- Rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR tests
- The result of a rapid test always represents only a snapshot in time
- A rapid test reduces the risk of unknowingly infecting others
- Even if you are tested negative, you have to follow the hygiene rules
- The rapid test only makes sense, if the smear test is carried out carefully
A positive result must be checked by a PCR test, as self-tests have a higher error rate than PCR tests.