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ABSTRACT
(1)

Background:

With vaccination and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 on the horizon, efficient testing in schools may enable prevention of mass infection outbreaks, keeping schools safe places and buying time until decisions on feasibility and the necessity of vaccination in children and youth are made. We established, in the course of the WICOVIR (Where Is the COrona VIRus) study, that gargle-based pool-PCR testing offers a feasible, efficient, and safe testing system for schools in Germany when applied by central university laboratories. (2)

Objectives:

We evaluated whether this approach can be implemented in different rural and urban settings. (3)

Methods:

We assessed the arrangements required for successful implementation of the WICOVIR approach in a variety of settings in terms of transport logistics, data transfer and pre-existing laboratory set-up, as well as the time required to establish the set-up. (4)

Results:

We found that once regulatory issues have been overcome, all challenges pertaining to logistics, data transfer, and laboratory testing on different platforms can be solved within one month. Pooling and depooling of samples down to the individual test result were achievable within one working day in all settings. Local involvement of the community and decentralized set-ups were keys for success. (5)

Conclusion:

The WICOVIR gargle-based pool-PCR system is so robust and simple that it can be implemented within one month in all settings now or in future pandemics.

Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MDPI Type of study: Health economic evaluation Topics: Vaccines / Variants Language: English Journal: COVID Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MDPI Type of study: Health economic evaluation Topics: Vaccines / Variants Language: English Journal: COVID Year: 2021 Document Type: Article