COVID Fighters support a safe start at school

We are pleased to provide reliable and rapid PCR testing by COVID Fighters to ensure a safe start to the new 2021/22 school year. Specifically, during the safety phase at the start of the school year, we evaluate oral rinse tests of students in elementary and special schools in Vienna, as well as students in all types and levels of schools in Lower Austria and Upper Austria.

Sampling in the school

The students are given a small plastic cup filled with a harmless saline solution by the teachers in the morning. Specifically, this is a 0.9 % physiological NaCl solution with which the students rinse their mouths for 60 seconds. Here, normal rinsing in the mouth is enough; it is not necessary to bend the neck backward and gargle in the throat. So overall it is a simple and at the same time pleasant way of sample collection.

Before collecting the samples, the students stick the respective labels on the dry and clean lids of the tube. The labels are located in the respective Ninja Pass and are anonymized.

After rinsing the mouth, the students put the contents back into the sample cup and close it tightly. The sample cups are then collected by the teacher and placed in a "class bag". All class bags will be placed in a safe place for collection no later than 8:30 am.

Transport of the samples

Transport drivers from the COVID Fighters pick up the samples and bring them safely packed and secured to our Giga Lab at the VAZ in St. Pölten. Here, the COVID Fighters have transformed a large event hall into a high-performance laboratory in a very short time.

The careful analysis of the samples

At the VAZ St. Pölten, the samples are unpacked and evaluated anonymously and in compliance with data protection regulations. The evaluation takes place in so-called pools of 10, i.e. 10 individual samples are evaluated together. If a pool sample is positive, the 10 individual samples are analyzed again individually with previously secured source material. This determines which sample was positive.

The employees of the COVID Fighters work in the VAZ St.Pölten of course under correct adherence to the prescribed, strict hygiene guidelines.

Transmission of the sample results

In a logistical feat, hundreds of thousands of samples can be evaluated per day at the VAZ St. Pölten. The results are entered anonymously into a database. In the case of a positive sample, the assignment to a specific person is only made via the Ministry of Education or the respective school. COVID Fighters analyze the samples in a period of less than 24 hours. By 7 a.m. of the following day at the latest, all samples have been analyzed and the results anonymously communicated to the Ministry of Education.

In this way, we are doing our part to ensure a safe start to the 2021/22 school year.

View into our laboratory area at VAZ St.Pölten

To give you an insight, we took some photos on the set-up days of the VAZ. At that time, the hall had not yet been completely converted to laboratory operation.