Certain close contacts of Covid-19 cases to be sent antigen tests to take at home 1 month ago

Certain close contacts of Covid-19 cases to be sent antigen tests to take at home

The close contacts will receive a box of five antigen tests.

The HSE has said it will begin registering close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases to receive antigen tests from Thursday (28 October) if they are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic.

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As part of the new measures, all close contacts will get a text message which states that if they are symptomatic and/or not fully vaccinated they will be referred for a PCR test but if they are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated they will be sent antigen tests to do at home.

The HSE states this text message will then be followed up by a call from contact tracers who will go through the close contact's vaccination history and symptoms and will make the referral as appropriate for either PCR or antigen testing.

The contact tracer will take the close contact's address details and antigen tests will then 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.

They will be asked to take 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 the antigen tests are found to be positive for Covid-19, the HSE requests 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.

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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.

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

Also on Thursday, the HSE launched a new campaign highlighting the importance of not attending work or any other events if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

The new ‘Thank you’ advertising message asks people not to attend work or any other events if they have Covid-19 symptoms and will run alongside complimentary messages on day-to-day Covid-19 protective behaviours.

It comes as 1,631 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland on Wednesday.

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Speaking at a Department of Health briefing Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said Covid-19 case numbers, incidence and hospital figures are all "continuing to increase".