Denmark to test people with and without Covid-19 symptoms at the same place

Symptomatic and asymptomatic people may soon be able to go to the same locations in Denmark to be tested for Covid-19.

Denmark to test people with and without Covid-19 symptoms at the same place
Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

I was tested for Covid-19 today. I have no symptoms, but my girlfriend had a slight temperature a couple of days ago and felt low on energy.

I logged on to Denmark’s test booking platform,, and booked a test in Skanderborg, a town in central Jutland close to where we’re temporarily staying (it’s just us and our infant daughter, and we’ve had no contact with others since the brief symptoms).

When my partner logged on to book her test and checked the box to say she had mild symptoms, she was advised to contact her doctor (who is in Copenhagen) in order to be able to reserve a slot.

Once she had done that, she logged back on to the portal which allowed her to book her test – in Horsens, another town a good 30-minute drive from Skanderborg.

This is because, up to now, all Danish Regions have separated their test locations for people with and without coronavirus symptoms.

Denmark's healthcare administration is split into five Regions: Hovedstaden (Greater Copenhagen), Sjælland (Zealand), North Jutland, Central Jutland and Southern Denmark.

The Sjælland region this week said it was planning to simplify access to coronavirus testing by allowing residents to be tested at the same locations, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms of Covid-19.

Temporary test centres – often in the form of white tents – are open for asymptomatic people to get a test without prior appointment.

Both symptomatic and asymptomatic people can also reserve a test by logging on to the platform and booking a slot.

The platform requires users to state whether they have symptoms. Those who answer ‘yes’ must then contact their own doctor by telephone in order for a test slot to be opened at a location and time designated for people who are displaying symptoms.

The change announced by Region Sjælland will take effect in September 7th.

Additionally, people with mild symptoms will not be required to contact their own doctor prior to getting tested, the Region said.

People with mild or no symptoms will be able to reserve a test on without contacting their doctor.

“Members of the public with symptoms should call their own doctor or the on-call doctor as they would normally do when unwell,” Region Sjælland stated in a press message.

“From there, the doctor will assess whether a referral for a corona test is needed,” it continued.

Two other Regions – Central Jutland and South Denmark – have also said they will begin testing symptomatic and asymptomatic people at the same place.

The change will primarily help families in which one member has mild symptoms but others don’t, but all want to be tested due to close contact.

“Members of the public shouldn’t have to run relay races to get tested for coronavirus. It should be easier, so that one family member doesn’t have to drive to a town to the north while the rest of the family travel south to get tested,” Region Sjælland’s chairperson Heino Knudsen, an elected official from the Social Democrats, said in a statement.

“The same applies with mild symptoms. There’s no reason for people to go through their own doctors, who put simply, just automatically give them a test,” Knudsen added.

Five test centres in the Zealand region will offer tests to both symptomatic and asymptomatic people, as of September 7th. These are located at Holbæk, Slagelse, Nykøbing Falster, Næstved and Roskilde.

Other centres will continue to be dedicated to asymptomatic people and people with doctors’ referrals respectively.

READ ALSO: Part-time pay for corona-hit companies: here’s how Denmark’s new wage scheme works

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”