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08 Dec 2021

HSE launch antigen testing for close contacts of Covid-19

HSE launch antigen testing for close contacts of Covid-19

HSE launch antigen testing for close contacts of Covid-19

The HSE has launched antigen testing for close contacts of individuals who contract Covid-19.

The new scheme will allow people to test themselves at home if they are deemed close contacts of a person that tested positive for Covid-19.

To be eligible for the free antigen testing kits you must be fully vaccinated and not have symptoms of the virus.

If you display symptoms, you are required to take a Covid-19 PCR test and to self-isolate in your bedroom. 

A contact tracer will phone close contacts to ask for an address and the free antigen tests will be posted out within 1-2 business days. 

The process for the testing is as follows and must be done in order:

First test on the day you get your tests.
Second test two days after your first test.
Third test two days after your second test.

Use a swab to take a sample from your nose. and the test will show the result in 15 minutes.

All three antigen tests must be completed despite the results.

If an antigen result is positive a PCR test must be taken to confirm the result, and even if 1/3 tests are negative, it is important to report the result online. The HSE advises doing this for all negative antigen test results.

Antigen tests are less accurate than PCR tests and it may not detect the virus which is why three tests should be taken over a period of time, according to the HSE.

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