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COVID-19: LNS supports test teams in schools

COVID-19:  LNS supports test teams in schools
2020 11-19

The Laboratoire national de santé (LNS) is continuing to play a central role in the fight against COVID-19 in a rapid and concrete manner. In this respect, the LNS is supporting mobile intervention teams that are carrying out COVID-19 tests in Luxembourg schools on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth and the Direction de la Santé since the beginning of this week.

Each of the mobile intervention testing teams is made up of a health professional and an administrative assistant. These teams travel from school to school throughout the country and take swabs in classes with reported cases of COVID-19. The young atients may choose between a mouth or nose swab, with parental consent being required for both.

Versatile support right from the start

The LNS supports the test teams with its expertise and the experience gained in the fight against COVID-19 in recent months. The tasks are varied, as LNS Director Prof. Dr. Friedrich Mühlschlegel explains: “The LNS has been part of this project from the onset. As a reference training centre, we trained the members of the mobile teams, with each successful course participant receiving a certificate. We have also provided test kits as well as personal protective equipment including masks, and we have been supporting the teams onsite during the first test days. And of course we are in charge of analysing and processing the tests”.

Every morning, the test teams currently working for the Ministry of Education receive the material kits for the day from the LNS. In the afternoon, the swabs taken are delivered to the LNS and evaluated by the laboratory’s virologists. The results are then sent to the parents within 24 hours. If the test is positive, an LNS doctor will contact the concerned parents by telephone and the Direction de la Santé will be informed. In addition to virologists and doctors, logistics and IT experts and the “Réception Centralisée” are also involved in the process at the LNS. If necessary, the LNS would also be able to provide the Ministry with additional personnel for the mobile teams.

Drive-in tests in Dudelange

Friedrich Mühlschlegel considers mobile testing in schools as an important component of the common fight against COVID-19 for all parties involved: “We are prepared to carry out several hundred additional tests per day at the LNS in the coming weeks. We are able to rely on the competence and efficiency of our staff. Moreover, we all benefit from trustful cooperation between the different partners in Luxembourg, which makes the country strong in the fight against the virus”.

In this fight, the LNS has already taken concrete action on several occasions in the recent weeks, as Friedrich Mühlschlegel emphasises: “Since the beginning of November, we have been offering drive-in tests to patients with a medical certificate at the LNS carpark in Dudelange, where we take up to 200 swabs per day. Before that, we had already set up test facilities on the Kirchberg site, amongst others, in order to provide quick and uncomplicated support for the country and its people”.