It is truly a mammoth task: How do you set up a COVID-19 test center from scratch? Firstly, Robert Crueger, head of the Administrative Unit for Labor, Health, and Environmental Protection at the University of Bremen had to walk around the entire campus to find suitable premises. Good ventilation is essential; there need to be separate entrances and exits; the floor needs to be disinfectable; and, of course, access has to be barrier-free.
The cafeteria in GW2 Building soon stood out as the best location for the test center, especially since it has an air ventilation system, which facilitates a high air exchange rate. As a result, staff no longer come to have lunch but to be tested at the cafeteria, in which laboratory conditions prevail these days.
The university’s Director of Finance and Administration Frauke Meyer advocated for a university test center early on, in order to provide maximum protection for staff who are unable to perform their tasks from home and to offer a safe testing environment close to their workplace. The test center then opened at the end of April, conveniently, just before testing became mandatory for Bremen’s companies and public administration.
“We’ve been given the trust, and that’s why we have to do everything we can to make sure it is safe.”
The overriding goal in the test center operation is, and Robert Crueger emphasizes this repeatedly in the interview, “the highest level of protection, which is a must for me. No one should be put at risk.” Immediately as you enter, a non-contact temperature check takes place. A cleaning person on-site disinfects the contact surfaces after each appointment. 20 square meters per person are allowed for, and a 2.5-meter distance must be adhered to at all times. There are four booths where staff are being tested. A throat and a nasal swab are taken, as this reduces the chance of a false test result. If a test result turns out positive, the staff member must take a PCR test at one of Bremen’s public COVID-19 test centers. In this case, a special cab will be organized to take the person directly there. “We don’t leave anyone alone if they have a positive result,” Crueger emphasizes.
“There is a high level of commitment and a high spirit among my staff – simply a great team!”
The team of the test center consists of 22 staff members from various fields of work at the University of Bremen. “There is a high level of commitment and a high spirit among my staff – simply a great team,” raves Crueger. All of them were instructed by the university doctor and are equipped with the best possible protective gear so that their risk of infection is as low as possible. Of course, they test themselves every day.
The personal data related to the testing will be used exclusively for COVID-19 prevention purposes. For example, although you have to register by name, your data is only recorded on routing slips, so that no electronic traces are left behind. The routing slip will be kept in the safe for three weeks and then shredded.