Testing and vaccinations

What staff need to know about self-tests and potential vaccinations

FAU has now received the self-tests supplied by the Bavarian State Ministry of Public Health and Care Services.

This page has information about self-tests and answers to the most frequently asked questions. In addition, we have information about potential vaccinations for FAU employees.

Incorporation of self-tests into FAU’s hygiene guidance

FAU has established efficient hygiene guidance for conducting on-campus examinations. This could be supplemented by the use of self-tests. The Ministry has yet to make a statement about this issue.

To gain a better understanding of the use of self-tests in the context of FAU’s hygiene guidance, some information from our medical experts has been included below. A detailed statement is available in the document called ‘Stellungnahme der FAU zur anlasslosen Schnell- bzw. Eigen-SARS-Cov-2-Tests’ (in German).

  • Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, FAU has quickly and consistently established, communicated and regularly evaluated a wide range of comprehensive protective and hygiene measures while continuously taking new scientific findings into consideration and observing public health policy. These measures have been and continue to be suitable for minimising SARS-CoV-2 infections among staff and students at FAU if they are followed consistently.
  • A general rule is that the validity of antigen rapid tests depends directly on the proportion of infected persons among those tested as well as on the sensitivity and specificity of the tests. Specifically, this means that during the current epidemiological situation in Erlangen and Nuremberg, the predictive value for an actual infection is very low, or poor, and that the number of incorrect test results is considerably higher than the number of infections correctly detected.
  • Due to the limited sensitivity of rapid antigen tests, these can also lead to false negative results, which means they do not detect an infection, even though one is present, especially in the early stages of an infection where the viral load is still low.
  • A negative rapid antigen test can provide a false sense of security and thus promote a willingness to take risks while ignoring hygiene guidance.

Each negative SARS-CoV-2 test result therefore only represents a momentary snapshot. Bearing that in mind, you should continue to comply with the currently valid protective measures and hygiene guidance at FAU.

Frequently asked questions about self-tests

The tests from the Ministry’s contingent are for staff and assistants. The Ministry is currently looking into providing tests free of charge for students.

10 self-tests will be sent to your home address. Staff at University Administration should collect them from their work address.

Important: Please check that your address is correct in the IDM system (Settings & Applications/Private address/Address human resource management) or write an e-mail to your human resources officer if you have changed address.

Members of staff who work on site either full time or part time can take a self-test twice a week if they wish.

FAU will not set up a test centre for health and safety reasons and because of budget constraints. Staff should therefore take the self-test themselves at home before going to work. Testing at work would mean that staff have already travelled to work and would potentially come into contact with others unnecessarily on their journey home if they test positive.

If you have any symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 or have been in contact with anyone infected with the virus, you should take a self-test. At the most, self-tests should be considered as a ‘supplement’ to FAU’s hygiene guidance. Before taking part in a class on campus, participants can take a self-test at home if they feel it is necessary. More information about FAU’s hygiene guidance for on-campus classes is available on our website.

Each test includes instructions from the manufacturer in the box. In addition, you can watch an instructional video provided by the Bavarian State Ministry of Public Health and Care Services or read the instructions in this quick reference guide. Self-tests should be carried out at home. If staff with disabilities have problems with carrying out the test themselves, they can take a test at a test centre. Time off work will be granted to travel to the next test centre and for taking the test.

The results of rapid tests and self-tests are not as conclusive as those of a PCR test. You can still be contagious on the day you take a test and the following day, even if the result is negative. Please also note that a negative result is not a ‘free ticket’ that enables you to ignore any rules regarding hygiene measures.

If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate immediately and avoid any contact with other people as much as possible as you might be highly contagious. If you did not take the test at home, you must go home straight away using the most direct route. Please observe social distancing and hygiene rules during the journey. To confirm the result of the self-test, make an appointment for a PCR test without delay by contacting either your general practitioner or by phoning the ‘Kassenärztliche Vereinigung’ on 116 117. You will be given instructions on how to proceed further. In addition, please also observe the applicable measures governed by employment law.

FAU has established efficient hygiene guidance for conducting on-campus examinations. This could be supplemented by the use of self-tests. The Ministry has yet to make a statement about this issue.

Vaccinations for FAU employees

We are aware of the fact that many members of staff work on campus and would therefore like to have priority when it comes to vaccination. However, the law (currently) gives priority to certain groups for the vaccine. FAU is not able to influence the prioritisation in any way. The President had advocated the inclusion of university staff as a priority group to the Ministry which would have enabled them to receive a vaccination at a vaccination centre, but this prioritisation was changed when the law governing vaccinations was amended.

We hope you understand that any attempt to influence the prioritisation could be interpreted by various groups at FAU as preferential treatment or discrimination. After all, examination invigilators work in close contact with others, whilst maintenance staff, laboratory staff, technicians and so on all work on campus and would like to be classed as ‘relevant persons in administration’, which is the prerequisite for being given higher priority.

The President is currently working hard to try and ensure that FAU staff receive vaccinations. Occupational medical services (at universities) are currently not being offered any doses of the vaccine, but this should change in June.

We will inform all staff in an e-mail as soon as this situation changes.

Further information