Nursing homes represent the most vulnerable group during the pandemic and need therefore be protected at all costs. Contact between residents and nursing staff is unavoidable and important. This makes it all the more important to test nursing staff for COVID-19 in order to effectively prevent clustering and local COVID-hotspots. Isolation, loneliness, and the high psychological stress on our care receivers must be contained to the greatest possible extent.
Together with the IMP, IMBA and our software-partner Labordatenbank.at, we were able to set up a system that enables Caritas to regularly test its employees for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR analysis. Caritas employees gargle several times a week and thus effectively protect their residents.
To date, there is little international scientific evidence on the role of school children in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The „Gurgelstudie“ accompanies the opening of schools in Austria from autumn 2020 to summer 2021. During the study, robust data on the role of children for the epidemiology of COVID-19 will be collected and thus a scientific basis for regulatory measures in the school sector in Austria will be created.
On the behalf of the BMBWF, our team developed the software used within the study. The software manages the testing process and provides the study administration with solid data to draw the right conclusions for our students.
Together with leading scientists from the Vienna Biocenter, the high-throughput laboratory Novogenia and the health data specialists from Grapevine world, we have developed a mass-market PCR home testing strategy that can reduce the R-factor below 1 and thus also effectively prevent further lockdowns. In our concept, the price per PCR test result corresponds approximately to that of an antigen test. The individual components of the strategy are already being piloted in various projects.