TU Dortmund University wants to protect its members from infection and help contain the pandemic. To this end, series tests are to be offered to those TU members who need to be present on campus. In this way, undetected infectious cases are to be found and chains of infection interrupted as early as possible. The offer started in April for employees and students of TU Dortmund University to ensure the necessary face-to-face teaching in the summer semester 2021.
Normal operation requires a very low incidence, testing alone is not sufficient for this. Coronatests allow positive cases to be quickly detected and isolated. As a result, chains of infection are interrupted at an early stage. At the same time, however, a negative test result is not a "free pass", as it is only a snapshot. In addition, infections can be overlooked if the viral load is low. Compliance with spacing and hygiene rules is therefore still essential as long as incidence dictates.
Initially employees and also students who must be present on campus for studying and teaching as well as for research and administration, were testes. With the introduction of a statewide testing requirement for teaching on June 7, students must provide proof of a negative result through a citizen test at their place of residence as long as incidence level 1 does not apply in the city and state. For employees, the testing requirement continues unchanged.
TU Dortmund University uses PCR tests and self-tests in combination to make the best use of the advantages of both types of tests. Self-tests have the advantage that they provide the result quickly and can be used anywhere. However, they are not 100% accurate, especially shortly after the infection. PCR tests, on the other hand, offer the best possible reliability, but provide the result with a delay because the analysis takes place in the laboratory. Both variants rely on simple self-collection of the sample, which is painless. The costs are comparable, as TU Dortmund University has the samples analyzed "pooled" for the more expensive PCR tests, i.e. ten samples together. Details on the two types of tests can be found in the following sections of this FAQ. The following link provides a chart that illustrates the advantages of combining both testing methods.
In order to detect an infection as early as possible, a employees should take a self-test at home in advance for every day of presence on campus if possible. Everyone who comes to campus regularly rather than sporadically must participate in a PCR pool test once or twice a week in order to verify the validity of the negative self-tests. An overview with explanations and examples of test frequency can be found here.
Employees can order the self-tests for their areas via a form in the ServicePortal. PCR testing is done at testing sites on campus; since mid-June an appointment is no longer required for this.
Since 9 July, employees in North Rhine-Westphalia are required to submit negative test certificates to their employer if they have not worked on the premises of the workplace for at least five consecutive working days, for example due to vacation. Employees of TU Dortmund University can provide this proof either by taking a free citizenship test or by taking a PCR pool test in the test tents on campus. Please note that the result of the PCR tests will only be available on the following day. As usual, take a self-test at home in advance. "Supervised employee tests" on the first working day on site are not performed at TU Dortmund University.
The negative test certificate must be presented to the respective direct superior on the first day of work on campus. Supervisors have a look at the test evidence and then return it. The evidence does not have to be retained or documented. Any documentation previously prepared in this context will be destroyed. This regulation also applies to people who initially started in the home office after vacation.
Alternatively, those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered and have no symptoms may present appropriate proof. The regulation does not apply if employees were not on site due to working from home or business trips.
Prof. Matthias Schneider from the Faculty of Physics at TU Dortmund University is part of No-Covid, a group of 14 scientists who have developed a strategy to contain Covid-19, following the example of Australia. It recommends controlling the incidence of infection through an intelligent testing strategy that involves employers and educational institutions in particular. A traffic-light system would be used to guide protective measures and relaxations in a region, depending on incidence. If a zone is "green," more freedom is possible again. Prof. Schneider is supporting TU Dortmund University in developing its testing strategy and accompanies the tests scientifically.