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CORONAVIRUS/What happens after you get a rapid COVID-19 test

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CNA photo May 25, 2021

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday announced details of what happens after someone receives a rapid test for COVID-19, as the use of the test has become more common as Taiwan tries to contain the domestic outbreak of the disease.

Taiwan has been using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to confirm COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, but rapid tests have been used at some testing sites in the past two weeks as their results are quicker.

PCR tests take up to two days to be processed, while rapid tests usually produce results in 20-30 minutes.

Everyone who receives a rapid test still needs to take a PCR test, however, as the latter remains Taiwan's standard in confirming COVID-19 cases, according to the CECC.

Anyone who receives a positive result from a COVID-19 rapid test is sent to either a hospital, government quarantine center, or their home to quarantine themselves as they wait for their PCR test results, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said Tuesday.

Individuals will be sent to hospitals or quarantine centers if they are at high risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19, if they have already begun to have symptoms or if their residence does not meet quarantine requirements, such as having a room with an en suite bathroom, Chuang said.

Those who receive a negative rapid test result, meanwhile, will be asked to monitor their health as they wait for their PCR test result. They will not be required to quarantine during this period, Chuang said.

Regardless of the rapid test result, those who receive a positive PCR test result are considered to be confirmed COVID-19 cases. Patients with serious symptoms will be treated in hospital, while those who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms will be placed in quarantine centers or at home as they recover.

Those who receive negative PCR test results will be asked to monitor their health and if they were in quarantine, they will be released, Chuang said.

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