Antigen tests for close contacts available from today

Asia's Tech News Daily

Antigen tests for close contacts available from today
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HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN Donnelly has announced that the HSE system for sending antigen tests to close contacts has gone live, and that from today people will be sent boxes of five rapid tests in the post.

Speaking on Newstalk this morning, he said:

“We’re going to start sending them out today. We expect households to start getting them tomorrow.

“At eight o’clock this morning, the HSE put up online some of the material… It’s got QR codes and basically provides the very simple and important message saying if you’re symptomatic you need a PCR test. If you’re unvaccinated, there’s not many left, but if you’re unvaccinated get a PCR test.

“But if you’re a non symptomatic or asymptomatic and you are vaccinated, which would be a lot of people, use the antigen test and we now have QR codes, you’ll be able to record your details online. If your antigen test tests positive… the high likelihood is you are positive and you go and get a PCR test,” said the minister.

All close contacts will get a text message which states that if not fully vaccinated and / or symptomatic they will be referred for a PCR test and if fully vaccinated and asymptomatic they will be sent antigen tests to do at home.

The text message will be followed up by a call from the contact tracers who will go through their vaccination history, symptoms and do the referral as appropriate for either PCR or antigen testing.

The contact tracer will take address details and antigen tests will be delivered by An Post in the regular post.

Close contacts who fall into the category for antigen testing will receive a box of five antigen tests and will be asked to do three tests – the first test on the day they receive their test kit, the second test two days later and the third test two days after that.

If antigen tests are positive we are requesting close contacts book a PCR test – as part of that booking process they will be asked to tick that they had a positive antigen result. If a close contact develops symptoms while they are in the process of doing antigen testing they need to self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Those whose antigen tests are negative are also asked to report their negative results via the HSE website.

Yesterday, it was announced that officials are working on a testing system for those who cannot get fully vaccinated on medical advice.

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