22 cantons have submitted concepts for mass tests. However, companies operating across Switzerland encounter obstacles.
Anyone suffering from Covid-19 but showing no symptoms quickly becomes a super spreader in their own company. Companies should prevent this by regularly testing their employees. The Federal Council decided at the beginning of March.
Companies receive support from the cantons. They must ensure that the test material reaches the companies and that the samples then also arrive at the laboratory.
If a canton submits a corresponding test concept, the federal government has been assuming the costs since March 15. In the meantime, 22 of the 26 cantons are ready, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced at the request of SRF. The BAG does not want to reveal who the four missing cantons are.
Pooled tests in Lucerne
However, individual testing is expensive and time-consuming. So-called pooled PCR tests are intended to provide a remedy. The laboratory examines several saliva samples together. If the result is positive, contact tracing informs the employees, who can then be tested individually.
The Canton of Lucerne also relies on this pooling process. Seven companies are currently participating in a pilot project. “The voluntary tests are to take place once a week until further notice,” said the canton’s health and social department. The aim is to enable all companies to carry out repetitive, preventive testing as soon as possible.
Difficulties for SBB, Post and Co
In the case of companies operating across Switzerland, however, the cantonal test concepts are reaching their limits. If a company has locations in several cantons, it is often unclear who is responsible for the logistics for the tests.
The SBB, for example, writes on request: “For national companies with different locations, a Swiss-wide solution would simplify the support.”
It would be good for us if there were clear framework conditions so that we can respond to the Federal Council’s appeal.
It sounds similar with the Post. It too has to coordinate its test strategy with all 26 cantons. Léa Wertheimer, Head of the Media Office, says: “It would be good for us if there were clear framework conditions so that we can obey the Federal Council’s call.” However, it is left to the authorities to decide whether this can be achieved by agreement between the cantons or a national solution.
The BAG is aware of the problem, says media spokesman Jonas Montani. One is in the process of looking for solutions together with the companies.
Here you can find help during the Corona period
Corona concerns us all. You can find one below List of hotlines and advice rund a Corona.
BAG Infoline Coronavirus, Link opens in a new window: 058 463 00 00 (daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
BAG Infoline Corona-Impfung, Link opens in a new window: 058 377 88 92 (daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Dureschnufe, Link opens in a new window: Platform for mental health around the new coronavirus
Anxiety and panic relief Switzerland, Link opens in a new window, Hotline: 0848 801 109 (10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Parents emergency call Switzerland, Link opens in a new window, Hotline: 0848 35 45 55 (24×7)
the youth have, Link opens in a new window, Hotline for children and adolescents: 147 (24×7)
Swiss worry phone, Link opens in a new window: 143 (24×7)
Addiction Help Switzerland, Link opens in a new window: Hotline for young people in lockdown 0800 104 104 (Tue.-Thu. 9am to 12pm)
Branchenhilfe.ch, Link opens in a new window: Advice portal for industries affected by corona