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No more nasal swabs for younger children

18.01.2022 - 10:51
Mynd: Matthew Henry / commo
Children aged eight and younger no longer have to endure the nasal element of PCR testing. Throat or mouth samples alone are now being taken. The change came into effect this morning, Ingibjörg Salóme Steindórsdóttir, testing project manager at Heilsugæslan, the capital region primary healthcare provider, confirmed.

Ingibjörg told Morgunblaðið that the results are not quite as accurate, but that the decision was taken nevertheless, because of the stress and discomfort nasal swabbing causes children and testing staff alike. 

In the region of 6,000 people have been PCR tested in the capital region every day recently, including many who were born in or after 2013—800 to 1,000 of them each day. 

Exhausted staff 

“The staff are very tired due to the pressure that has been building since mid-November and is now at its highest high,” Ingibjörg says. She explains that testing is stressful and uncomfortable for the children, their parents, and the testing staff. The change today will both shorten the time children spend at the testing centre, and also make the testing itself more bearable. 

Ingibjörg calls on parents to remain cautious and to do what they can to reduce the infection rate within schools, and also to turn up on time for booked testing appointments. This is the best way to prevent long queues, she says. 

“We haven’t got used to whining, rather, we just find solutions,” Ingibjörg says. But now, staff cannot run any faster, they are tired, and it is getting hard to man shifts. “People have become so tired. Many have been working every day this past month.” 

To reduce stress and queuing, from tomorrow PCR testing will be available until 19.00 in the evenings (for adults and children aged over nine). 

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