CORONAVIRUS/Who should get tested for COVID-19 and where

05/20/2021 07:14 PM
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A testing site in Taipei
A testing site in Taipei's Wanhua District. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Local governments across Taiwan have been setting up free COVID-19 testing sites over the past week, as the country endeavors to contain its worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

CNA has compiled the following summary, explaining where the testing sites are, who should get tested, and how the process works:

Who should get tested?

The testing sites are intended for people who have had contact with a COVID-19 patient or are themselves experiencing symptoms of the disease. People who do not meet these conditions should not go to the testing sites, in order to prevent the risk of transmission and a waste of medical resources.

How does the testing process work?

All the tests at the COVID-19 stations are the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type, which takes 1-2 days to obtain the results and is Taiwan's main standard for confirming COVID-19 infections.

At some testing sites, such as the virus hotspots in Taipei, rapid tests may also be used, producing results in 10-15 minutes, but they are less accurate than the PCR tests.

If a person tests positive via a rapid test, health authorities will arrange for them to have a PCR test. While awaiting the results, they will be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility, a hospital or at home, depending on the circumstances.

If the health authorities have not contacted a person within three days of their PCR test, it means the results are negative.

According to the CDC, people should bring their personal identification and National Health Insurance (NHI) cards to the testing sites and should wear a face mask at all times.

Where are the COVID-19 testing sites?

Testing sites are already in operation in Taiwan's major cities, including in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and Tainan. Over the next few weeks, testing sites will be set up in all 22 municipalities in the country.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has launched an interactive map (in Chinese only) that pinpoints all the testing sites and facilities nationwide, including the new testing sites and hospitals that were already offering that service.

Persons who are unable to locate a testing site near them can contact the CDC via its toll-free 1922 hotline or at 0800-001922 to ask for information.

Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should avoid using public transport when traveling to the testing sites.

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