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Gargling is less unpleasant than swab tests

Stockholm to introduce gargle test for Covid

Stockholm to introduce gargle test for Covid

This will be offered at all primary and secondary schools in the region

Following a successful pilot project (5-12 October), the City of Stockholm in collaboration with the Stockholm Region will introduce COVID gargle tests to all primary and secondary schools in the area. These will be available from 8 November in the form of kits that students can take home. The gargling will be done with a saltwater solution that will then be spit into a tube and taken for testing to a laboratory.

Studies show that this test is less unpleasant than the nasal swab alternative

During the period 5–12 October, a pilot project was conducted with gargle tests at the municipal schools in the city of Stockholm in collaboration with the Stockholm Region and Karolinska University Laboratory. Just over five percent of the analyzed tests turned out to be positive, without the students showing symptoms.

Gargle tests are less unpleasant for children and a good tool to quickly identify infection in a school environment. Students, guardians and the school make an important contribution and the testing contributes to safer local education,” explained elementary school director Lee Orberson.

The tests will come into action every time a COVID case has been detected in a school environment. They will be offered to the students or school staff who have no symptoms but who have been in the vicinity of someone confirmed as infected with covid-19 in the class or work team. 

The simplified sampling method means that the sampler gargles a saline solution for a few seconds, spits it out and then sends the test tube with the liquid for analysis. The test method does not cause as much discomfort as sampling in the nose and throat.

In this way, we can quickly gain control of local outbreaks and prevent major consequences such as school closure and homeschooling,” confirmed Elda Sparrelid, chief physician in the Stockholm region.

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