As of 31 October 2022, the Health Board is changing the procedure for PCR testing in relation to SARS-CoV-2.
As of 31 October 2022, the following options are no longer available:
- for a family physician to refer individuals who are included in any of the risk groups (patients over the age of 60 and patients with certain chronic diseases) to free PCR testing;
- to order free PCR testing of all residents of a social care institution.
The following methods and options can still be used when diagnosing the virus:
- Rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests for professional use. Samples must be collected by a healthcare professional.
- Rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests for domestic testing. Samples are collected by the patients themselves, who must then notify their family physician of the results.
In the case of a rapid antigen test being used, one should keep in mind the fact that a rapid antigen test provides the most reliable results when the individual has just fallen ill. The viral load in the body is at its highest in this period, within the first five days after developing any symptoms. The test is less sensitive when the viral load is low, before any symptoms appear or when the patient has begun to recover.
It is advisable to use one of those rapid antigen tests which are intended for professional use. The reliability of such tests has been verified within European Union member states. The full list of reliable tests can be found on the European Commission website.
Anyone who is interested in doing so can book a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test if they themselves cover the cost of testing. Further information is available at koroonatestimine.ee.
The appearance of symptoms
If you develop any symptoms which are characteristic of a viral upper respiratory infection (such as a fever, muscle and joint pain, a headache, a cough, a runny nose, etc), please stay at home and contact your family physician or the family physician advisory line (1220). Your family physician will assess whether or not you need to be tested, while also providing health advice.
Foreign nationals and individuals who do not have health insurance
In the event that they develop any symptoms, foreign nationals and individuals who do not have health insurance must contact the nearest family health centre for advice, where any possible need for testing will be assessed. If a viral upper respiratory infection is suspected (with symptoms potentially including a fever, a dry cough, or breathing difficulties), the patient will be treated whether or not they are included in the list. This is deemed as being urgent aid which must be provided by any family physician.
☎️ If you have any health-related questions, please contact the family physician advisory line (1220 or +372 634 6630 (also available from abroad). The line is available around the clock.
Digital COVID certificate
Any patient can create a recovery certificate which is valid throughout the European Union, based on the results from an antigen test which has been taken by a healthcare provider and which has been documented in the Health Information System.
Please note that EU digital COVID recovery certificates cannot be generated based upon the results of a rapid antigen test result if the patient has tested themself.