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Testing opportunity for university members in the context of the coronavirus pandemic

Free self-tests for employees

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is successively making a weekly self-test available to university employees who are currently in attendance for work-related reasons. The first self-tests will be distributed at the University in the coming days.
Employees carry out the tests themselves at home. A certificate of the test result can therefore not be issued. The self-tests are thus not suitable to lift quarantine orders or for presentation at the health office, as proof after entering the country from abroad, or in similar situations.

What do I have to consider when performing the test?

As an employee, you should usually carry out the self-test at home at least once a week in advance. In the event of a positive result, this can prevent contacts on the way to work. It is recommended to perform the test on days when attendance at the University is planned.
When performing the self-test, the instructions for use must be followed throughout.
You will find the instructions for use, more detailed information on how to perform the test and how to read the test result safely on or in the test package as well as here:

Unfortunately, the producer has not made the instructions available in English yet. For an English Quick Reference Guide, please see the translation provided by the state of Berlin at

After performance, please collect the used test components in a plastic bag and dispose of them in household or residual waste.

How are the tests provided and distributed?

The order is placed via the Service Help Desk (SHD) at the materials warehouse. Employees in attendance receive the tests at the workplace. There is no entitlement to or need for self-tests for individuals who work consistently from home. The self-tests may also not be passed on to third parties. Managers shall document which employees receive how many self-tests. This is necessary in order to be able to track the distribution in case the state requests information on the use.

My self-test is negative – what do I do?

In all likelihood, you are not currently infectious and will not be for the next several hours. Therefore, you may come to the University. However, a negative self-test does not rule out infection with coronavirus. Therefore, all hygiene and infection control measures must continue to be fully observed at the University and on the way there.

My self-test is positive – what do I do?

A positive test result indicates a first suspicion of coronavirus infection, which must be verified by a PCR test. It is therefore mandatory to perform a PCR test promptly. For this purpose, you must immediately contact a testing centre and say that you have had a positive self-test in advance. In this case, the testing is free of charge for you.
Until the suspected infection has been disproved, avoid all contacts that are not absolutely necessary (Section 13 CoronaTestQuarantäneVO NRW).
First inform your supervisor by telephone or e-mail about the positive self-test and the upcoming control test. It is strongly recommended that employees who have had close contact with a person tested positive in a rapid test in the 7 days prior to the test result also minimize contacts until the PCR test result is available. If possible, they should work from home until then.

Please also inform your supervisor about the PCR test result and the personnel management department. A negative PCR test will allow you to return to the workplace after consultation with your supervisor.

In some municipalities, there is also an obligation to notify the responsible health authorities. Therefore, please find out in advance from your municipality whether there is an obligation to report and how you can comply with it, if necessary. For the City of Cologne, for example, such an obligation exists for the person tested positive. The notification can be filled out online at

My self-test shows an invalid result – what do I do?

If your self-test shows an invalid result, perform another self-test, if possible. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand and ensure that you follow the instructions for use exactly.