Q&A/Taiwan's new COVID-19 screening rules for hospital admissions, visits
Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) Starting Thursday, patients admitted to hospitals in Taiwan and their visitors can complete their mandatory COVID-19 screening using at-home rapid tests, in addition to the existing options of PCR or rapid antigen tests administered at a hospital.
CNA has compiled the following Q&A to explain how the new regulations will affect various types of hospital patients and visitors.
Q: What are the COVID-19 screening guidelines if I am admitted to the hospital?
A: In an emergency situation, you will need to take a free PCR test or rapid antigen test before being admitted to a hospital room. A free PCR or rapid test is also required for patients who stay in emergency room observation units for over 24 hours.
If you are being admitted to a hospital on a nonemergency basis, you should take a free at-home rapid test on the day of your admission, or a free PCR or rapid test administered at the hospital within two days before your admission.
Q: What are the COVID-19 screening guidelines if I will be visiting a family member/friend who has been admitted to the hospital?
A: Under the updated guidelines, people admitted to hospital are generally only allowed one designated visitor.
In nonemergency situations, the designated visitor should take an at-home rapid test on the day they enter the hospital to visit their family member/friend, or a hospital-administered PCR test or rapid test within two days before entering.
In emergency situations, the designated visitor can take a PCR test or rapid test on the day they enter the hospital to visit their family member/friend who has been admitted to a hospital room or has stayed in an emergency room observation unit for over 24 hours.
The catch: Designated visitors who have received a COVID-19 booster shot, or received a second COVID-19 vaccine shot at least 14 days ago but within three months, are entitled to one free COVID-19 PCR or rapid test.
Designated visitors who are not fully vaccinated must pay for their own PCR or rapid test before entering the hospital to visit their family member/friend, as well as on a weekly basis for as long as their visits continue.
Q: Are there any exemptions to these screening requirements?
A: Infants, as well as admitted patients or designated visitors who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the last three months, are not required to take a COVID-19 test.
Additional visitors -- who are allowed only in certain situations, such as for patients in children's wards, the ICU or palliative care - are exempt from taking a test if they have received a vaccine booster shot or have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the last three months.
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