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Coronavirus Q&A: Everything you need to know about testing in Ireland

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As the number of Covid-19 cases rise again in Ireland, we examine who might need a test and how they should go about securing it.

Q: What is the current advice for those who believe they might need a test for coronavirus?

A:
If you develop a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you are advised to self-isolate and phone your GP straightaway to discuss whether you need a test.

Q: What happens if my GP decides I need to get a test?

A:
You will get a text message with the time and location of your test. The text will include a reference number which you will need to bring to your appointment.

Q: What should I do while I am waiting for a test?

A
: While you wait for your test, you should behave as if you have the virus by self-isolating. People in your household will need to restrict their movements also.

Q: What if my symptoms get worse while I’m waiting for a test?

A:
If your symptoms get worse phone your GP. If you have difficulty breathing or are feeling very unwell, the HSE says to call 112 or 999 and tell them about your symptoms.

Q: What if I have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, will I be tested even if I don’t have any symptoms?

A:
If you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus, you will be phoned by the contact tracing team. They will arrange a test for you. You will be tested even if you do not have symptoms.

Q: Where does testing take place?

A:
You will either have a test at a community test centre, some of which are drive-thru, or if you cannot attend a test centre you will be tested at home. The test takes about 15 minutes.

Q: When will I get the results of my test?

A:
The HSE said most people will get their results back within three day but added “it can take longer”. The advice is continue to self-isolate while you wait for your results.

Q: How many people have now been diagnosed with Covid-19?

A:
According to the latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there is now a total of 27,499 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. There has been a total of 1,775 Covid-19 related deaths.

Coronavirus: 34 more cases confirmed in Northern Ireland

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