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PCR tests

In a PCR test, the genetic material of the virus is amplified and detected. Due to its high reliability, the methodology is considered the "gold standard". However, it is time-consuming, as the analysis has to be carried out in the laboratory. For this purpose, TU Dortmund University is cooperating with the Klinikum Dortmund as part of a research project. Only the samples are taken on TU Dortmund University campus. The result is available within 24 hours. In order to exclude infection on the day of the test as far as possible, a self-test should be carried out beforehand. The following link provides a chart that illustrates the advantages of combining both testing methods.

There are two testing sites on campus: a tent in Martin-Schmeißer-Platz at the North Campus and a testing site in the sports facilities.  The tent at the South Campus has been closed since 13 August. 

In the testing sites, there are one or two test lanes each. In each test lane, ten people can take their samples in booths at the same time. The faculties can book the test lanes for their members via LSF and invite their members. The test sites at the Nord Campus and South Campus operate Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, the testing site in the sports facilities on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30 a.m. to 2.15 p.m.

The test centers are open to employees of the TU Dortmund University. Within the scope of free capacities, registered students can also be tested. Since mid-June, it is no longer necessary to book an appointment via LSF. To avoid waiting times, please also use the off-peak hours.

For the new digital test check-in, the TU app should be installed on the smartphone before visiting the test tent (see next question). n the TU app, there is a new tile called "Test check-in". There, all data required for the PCR test can be stored in a form (see next question). Half an hour before the test, you should neither eat nor smoke, so that the result is not affected.

Via the "test check-in" function, you can enter all the necessary data (e.g. name, address and telephone number) for the PCR test and confirm the declaration of consent. Please enter your data before entering the test tent. The app then generates a QR code that is scanned in the test tent. You will then receive the test tubes and an information sheet with your QR code. You can scan the code on the information sheet later to get your test result. Further information and the download link to the TU app can be found here.

In exceptional cases, the data and a declaration of consent can still be submitted on paper.

Hands must be disinfected at the entrance to the testing site. The QR code with the personal data from the TU app is then scanned. The person to be tested then receives the material for taking the sample: two numbered tubes with cotton swabs (and a declaration of consent if required) as well as an information sheet with the personal QR code. You can use this to look up the result later. The person then goes to the test booth, which has the same number as the sample tubes. There you can remove the mask. This should not be placed in the booth, but hung around the wrist, for example. After taking the A and B samples (see next question), the test tubes are placed in the containers provided at the dispensing station.

In the "lollipop method", you take a sample from your mouth and nose for the PCR test. To ensure that the result is not falsified, you should not drink, eat or smoke for half an hour beforehand. To take the sample, insert a cotton swab into your mouth and suck on it for 30 seconds, similar to sucking ­on a lollipop. Then insert the cotton swab one after the other into the right and left nostril and swipe along the nasal wall about ten times. Unlike the deep throat swab, the swab is only used in the front part of the nose. The swab is then returned to the tube. This procedure is then ­repeated for a B sample with ­a second cotton swab. The A samples are later placed ten at a time in a collection vessel. 

This  gives an impression of how easy it is to take samples.

With serial tests, it is to be expected that the majority of the samples will be negative. To save time and costs, it therefore makes sense to combine ("pool") several samples and analyze them together. If the pooled sample is negative, one knows that all of the group are negative. If the sample is positive, the B samples of the group members are analyzed individually to find the infectious case. For the procedure at TU Dortmund University, ten samples are pooled in each case. With an incidence of 100, it is statistically expected that out of 100 pooled samples only one B sample needs to be analyzed. The B samples that are not needed are disposed of.

Klinikum Dortmund has validated the method as part of a research project. The simple and efficient procedure of taking samples by lollipop method and analyzing them in pooled form is sufficiently sensitive.

After using the test check-in via the TU app, you will be handed an info sheet with a QR code. By scanning the code, you will receive your test result. If you do not use the test check-in, you will receive the result by email. In case of a positive individual sample, you will be contacted by the health department. It is currently not yet possible to issue a certificate.

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