Germany arena plays role of Good Samaritan


Lanxess Arena corona test hub Image: Lanxess Arena

The LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany, has officially been declared a publicly mandated center for carrying out COVID-19 free rapid antigen tests (RAT) since March 9th, 2021. This test detects protein fragments specific to coronavirus.

‘LANXESS arena’ reported that the drive-in test center is housed in the P3 multistory car park of the facility and has officially become a publicly mandated corona antigen test center under the new Corona Testing Ordinance.

As per the Corona Testing Ordinance passed in August 2020, anyone entering Germany from a risk area must get tested against coronavirus or produce proof thereof. Whether the person enters by car, train or plane holds no relevance.

LANXESS arena is an indoor arena in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The arena opened in 1998 and can accommodate 20,000 people for concerts. With its capacity of 18,500, it is the largest ice hockey arena outside North America.

The above development confirmed the ratification of the new test regulation of the Ministry of Health of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The picture was hazy for a long time whether private test centers could also offer free RAT tests.

The ‘LANXESS arena’ further stated that it is pleased to announce that tests can now be done free of charge – “We would like to thank the City of Cologne and the Municipal Health Department for their quick and constructive support.”

Stated LANXESS Arena Managing Director Stefan Lochs, “It was a long and nerve-wracking process. We put pressure on the powers that be to finally be able to announce that our drive-in center will also offer coronavirus rapid antigen tests free of charge and that we will carry out on each citizen a free RAT test once a week as part of our drive-in procedure.”

All people from Cologne and the surrounding areas can be tested safely and the entire exercise will be a comfortable one as they do not have to leave their vehicles. Pre-registration is not necessary. Qualified medical personnel are carrying out the RAT tests.

People who test negative can leave the complex immediately. If the test result comes out positive, the Cologne Health Department will request a second sample for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This will then be evaluated in the Wisplinghoff laboratory in Cologne. Those who test positive are asked to go into quarantine until the result of the PCR test and further instructions from the Health Department is made available.

The rapid test is an antigen test from Clongene. According to the manufacturer, the diagnostic sensitivity is 98.50 percent. The rapid test drive-in exercise is taking place in close consultation with the Cologne Health Department. If a PCR test is carried out, the Wisplinghoff laboratory charges € 59.00 and the payment should be a cashless one.

Access to the test drive-in has been set up in multistory car park P3 in the LANXESS arena. Ingress is via Gummersbacher Straße (TOR 4) of the LANXESS arena or via the Opladener Straße tunnel (towards the City). The maximum headroom is 1.90 meters. Carrying a valid identification document is a prerequisite for the test.

Explaining how the coronavirus RAT test drive-in in the LANXESS arena has come about, arena Managing Director Stefan Lochs stated, “Two long-term partners of the arena approached us with the concept, which we are happy to support. The good connectivity to the arena coupled with the large parking space offer excellent conditions for the quick and safe implementation of RAT tests.”

RAT tests exercise

  • One is required to drive into the parking area P3 of the LANXESS arena and if one is asked to take the PCR test, the payment should be made at the egress point;
  • The specialist takes the smear from the back of the pharynx;
  • One is required to park for 15 minutes in a marked parking lot;
  • If the test result is negative, the individual can go home; and
  • If the test result comes positive, a PCR test will be done as per instructions of the Health Department. One has to pay € 59.00 and will receive the result and the invoice from LANXESS arena’s partner laboratory Wisplinghoff within 24 hours.

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