Antigen Quick and Self-Test FAQs
Which test methods are on the market?
The PCR test used in laboratories and the antigen self-tests are well known in Europe.
The RT-LAMP method, which combines the safety of a PCR test with the speed of rapid antigen tests, has received little attention here in Europe so far. Some countries, e.g. Austria, are increasingly relying on this safe and inexpensive alternative to protect the population.
How safe are corona rapid tests?
In comparison to the PCR method (the so called “gold standard”), the rapid antigen tests are significantly inaccurate and therefore very uncertain. Because the test only reacts when the sample contains an agains SARS-CoV created protein in sufficient quantities. Unfortunately, this is only the case when the infected person has been sick for a longer time and is already contagious to others. Why an infected person who has been tested with an antigen test usually infects other people.
On how many days are rapid antigen tests reliable?
According to Christian Drosten (chief virologist at the Berlin Charité), the common rapid antigen tests are only really safe from the fourth day after infection. In percentage terms, the probability drops to around 60%. In other words: four out of ten infected people are not recognized early enough!!
Are events with rapid antigen test really safe?
Unfortunately the answer is: NO! Since the rapid antigen test only detects infected people to a limited extent and not at all on the first three days, the probability is rather high, that you will get in contract and most likly infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus at large events.
How long is a rapid antigen test result "valid"?
The validity of an antigen self-test result is currently given as 48 hours and is accepted by politics and administration. Strictly speaking, however, it is only valid for the moment and is therefore only partially secure. Because the result only shows the health / sickness status for the moment when the sample was taken. Since antigen tests require a much higher degree of infection (than a PCR or LAMP test) to identify sick people, it is possible that the tested person is already sick for 2 or 3 days and may already have infected some contact persons, although the result of the antigen test still declares, that the tested person is Covid-19 negative = healthy.
How often should you get a Covid-19 rapid test?
The numbers propagated to the public range between 2 to 3 tests per week. However, for the reasons of test inaccuracy already described above, these specifications are far from sufficient.
In our opinion, the requirement of 2–3 tests per week assumes, that test procedures are used according to the PCR and / or RT-LAMP standard across the board.
How is the sample taken for the VICARE Rapid (RT-LAMP) CoV-2 rapid test?
Vicare Rapid enables all known forms of sample generation. Samples can be taken by swabbing the nose and / or throat or by means of the spit / gargle sample and also on the basis of the Lolliy-Pop stick.
Why does VICARE RAPID, just like a PCR test, detect even the smallest virus loads?
Vicare Rapid uses the same procedure like the PCR test, they both aim to detect the virus’s RNA. And both methods use “incubation” in their procedure to multiply the virus cultures in the sample quickly (much faster than in the human body) like in an drying chamber.
In this way, even the smallest amounts of virus are able to be generated during the sampling process (if they are available because the test subject is sick) in order to be able to reliably and unequivocally detect the disease.
How long does the Covid-19 detection with VICARE RAPID take?
Less than 30 minutes pass from the moment the evaluation starts to the result. This means that the test is comparable in speed to conventional rapid antigen tests, but as safe as a laboratory test according to the PCR Gold Standard.
Questions and Answers for Companies
When does the compulsory test apply for German companies?
The corona test obligation for German companies is binding since April 18, 2021.
When does the compulsory test for companies end??
The German regulation expired on June 30th 2021.
Which test procedures are allowed?
The use of rapid antigen tests (also available as self-tests), PCR tests and RT-LAMP tests are allowed.
How often should employees receive a CORONA test offer?
According to the regulation, the employer should offer his employees a test to detect the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 disease once a week in order to reduce the company’s SARS-CoV-2 infection risk.
What applies to employees in the home office?
For employees who work exclusively in their home office, the company doesn’t need to make a test offer.
Which groups of employees should be given at least two test offers per week?
- Employees who are accommodated in shared rooms 7 houses by the employer
- Employees who work in closed rooms under climatic conditions that promote the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus
- Employees in companies that offer personal services, where a direct physical contact with other people cannot be avoided
- Employees who carry out activities in contact with other people for operational reasons, provided that the other people do not have to wear mouth and nose protection and
- those employees who, for operational reasons, have frequently changing contact with other people.
Small businesses are exempted from the test requirement?
The test offer is also mandatory for small companies.
Are there penalties or fines for companies??
The responsible German occupational health and safety authorities can enforce compliance with all requirements of the ordinance in individual cases through official orders and punish violations of their order with a fine of up to € 30,000.
Who monitors compliance with the regulation?
Basically the German occupational health and safety authority of your German region is responsible.
How does the proof work that the test offer has been submitted?
Evidence of the procurement of tests or agreements with third parties, on the testing of employees, must be kept by the employer for four weeks.
There is a compulsory test for employees?
Employees are not obliged to carry out a test.
Must positive tests be reported?
Yes! All positive results from COVID-19 tests must be reported to the health department. There is no statutory reporting requirement for self-tests, but it is advised that employers report these to the health department as well.
Who bears the costs for the rapid tests?
The cost of the tests are borne by the employer. In principle, however, companies can claim the costs for rapid tests as part of the German bridging aid III if they meet the requirements for this.