Successful pilot project for repetitive COVID-19 testing in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland supported by SAFOSO

May 28, 2021

From February to April, SAFOSO supported the canton of Aargau with its pilot project Repetitive Testing (ReTe) for SARS-CoV-2 in collaboration with IXORIS and other stakeholders.

The aim of repetitive testing for SARS-CoV-2 is the detection of infectious pre- and asymptomatic persons at an early stage and thus prevent outbreaks by breaking chains of infection. The repetitive testing is part of the Swiss strategy to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAFOSO was part of the project team that set-up the pilot project for repetitive testing in schools, socio-medical institutions, nursing homes and companies. Fifteen institutes were tested once a week for SARS-CoV-2 using saliva samples, which were then pooled and analysed with PCR. Out of 1024 collected pools during the pilot phase, thirteen were positive, which where then followed up individually. The pilot project provided valuable insights and experience for the main project. It was also shown that pre- or asymptomatically infected persons can be detected through repetitive testing.

In addition, SAFOSO accompanied the pilot project with a project evaluation, which provided critical insights into the perceptions and opinions of the project stakeholders. These insights also benefitted the organisation and implementation of the main ReTe Project.

The pilot project provided the basis for the main ReTe project in the canton of Aargau, which started in the middle of April and is expected to test up to 200 000 people per week until September. We are pleased to have been able to support the COVID-19 pandemic containment with our expertise!

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