14:25, 26 March 2021
As the number of infections in kindergartens has recently increased, it will start after Easter Pilot project “Lollipop tests” in five Lower Austrian state kindergartens. Participation is voluntary and only with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. The tests are intended to increase safety in nursing homes, state councilors said Christiane Teschl-Hofmeister (ÖVP) i Ulrike Koenigsberger-Ludwig (SPÖ) on Friday.
“Lollipop tests” are considered a special method adapted to children, it was said during the presentation of the project. Participants are state kindergartens Wolkersdorf, Thaya, Neumarkt ad Ybbs 2, Neunkirchen and Weigelsdorf. About 440 children can participate in the project.
The project is planned for a period of eight weeks, after two weeks an evaluation will be conducted. “If the ‘lollipop tests’ are well received, we will continue to introduce a testing procedure for kindergartens throughout Lower Austria even before the end of the pilot,” announced Health Councilor Königsberger-Ludwig.
Tests should be conducted on the first day of kindergarten every week, and the second time two days later, said education counselor Teschl-Hofmeister. “On exam days, when children surrender in the morning before entering the group rooms, they get a ‘lollipop’ that they should move back and forth a few seconds in front of their mouths. An evaluation from kindergarten follows,” Teschl-Hofmeister said. The result should be available within 15 minutes. Handling as well as accuracy and acceptability as well as further procedure in case of positive tests are examined.
“With the help of tests, it is possible to identify the sources of infection as quickly as possible and thus protect teachers, as well as kindergarten children and their families from the disease in the best possible way,” said the two regional councilors. They appealed to parents to take this opportunity and thus contribute to making everyday kindergarten life “as safe as possible” for everyone involved.