In some schools in Germany, e.g. in Cologne, a new method of detecting Covid-19 in the youngest students has been introduced. The “lollipop tests” are intended to improve the performance of tests in children who feel the fear of traditional throat or nose swab sampling.
Better testing of children
Lollipop tests are PCR gene tests. They look like ordinary cotton buds, and in order to perform the test – children have to suck them for half a minute . The collected material is then sent to the laboratory, where it is tested for the presence of coronavirus in it.
The method was developed by the city of Cologne and the university hospital there. It is supposed to allow for much more efficient testing of young children in whom traditional swabbing from the throat or nose caused discomfort or even fear.
As the youngest students stay in the institutions all week, they should take two tests together with teachers during this period.
Schools are trying out a new method
The “lollipop tests” campaign is voluntary and free, schools do not have a top-down order to implement it, and the city covers the costs.
In Cologne, which initiated an unconventional method of testing babies, the action started on April 12 and ends on May 21 at the earliest.
From the same day, in a two-week period, also preschoolers in Lathen in Lower Saxony can be tested for Covid-19 by sucking on lollipops.
It is such a gentle way of examining children that other educational institutions also want to introduce them, for example primary schools in Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia.