Denmark to introduce Covid-19 self-testing for care sector staff

Denmark is to increase testing for Covid-19 at care homes by enabling staff to self-test.
Denmark is to increase testing for Covid-19 at care homes by enabling staff to self-test. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix
Staff in the elderly care sector in Denmark will be offered rapid antigen tests for Covid-19 at work which they will be able to self-administer, the government said on Wednesday.

People working in elderly care and at care homes will be able to take the tests, which provide an answer in around 15 minutes, when they arrive at work, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior citizens said in a statement.

The ministry agreed the provision with municipal and regional health authorities, it said.

Self-administered Covid-19 tests are uncommon in Denmark, unlike in other countries like the United Kingdom, for example, where use of rapid flow tests at private homes is widespread.

Denmark has largely conducted all its Covid-19 testing at permanent or mobile designated centres or at hospitals.

Self-testing has previously been used in schools and educational institutions, but under the supervision of testing staff.

Care sector workers in the country are already asked to take a test for the virus twice weekly, regardless of vaccination status.

But the sector has asked for more frequent testing of its staff, said Jacob Bundsgaard, head of Kommunernes Landsforening (KL), the national organisation for municipalities.

“We are therefore pleased that there’s now an agreement for temporary staff and ad hoc workers to test themselves before their shifts begin. That will help keep the virus away from the elderly,” Bundsgaard said.

Self-testing facilities for care staff will be available by November 11th, according to the agreement.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Expert group says Denmark could reach 2020 peak infection numbers

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