Experiences with opt-in, at-home screening for SARS-CoV-2 at a primary school in Germany: an implementation study
October 20, 2021
Wachinger J, Schirmer M, Täuber N, McMahon SA, Denkinger CM.
BMJ Paediatrics Open
This mixed-methods study conducted between March and May 2021 assessed the implementation of a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) based screening program to facilitate face-to-face teaching at a primary school in South-West Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prospective study included staff (n=21, 62%) and students (n=109, 59%). Qualitative interviews were also conducted with six school staff/stakeholders, 10 students and 10 parents. Results showed that the screening intervention was highly accepted and appreciated among participants. Self-testing at home before school was feasible and participants preferred home-based RDTs over other measures such as mask mandates. No screening associated positive RDT result was reported over the duration of the study. RDT screening with self-testing at home can facilitate safe return to face-to-face teaching in schools. Policy makers should ensure comprehensive capacity building for testing, fit-for-purpose training materials, support networks, and consistent communication about regulations.
Wachinger J, Schirmer M, Täuber N, McMahon SA, Denkinger CM. Experiences with opt-in, at-home screening for SARS-CoV-2 at a primary school in Germany: an implementation study. BMJ Paediatr Open 2021; 5: e001262.