HSE reiterate advice on use of antigen testing for asymptomatic close contacts

The HSE is advising people who have been identified as asymptomatic (no symptoms) close contacts to avail of antigen testing and to restrict their movements.

With the huge increase in positive cases, testing centres in CHO1 are seeing asymptomatic close contacts referring themselves and their whole household for PCR testing.

Acting Head of Service Primary Care, Mandy Doyle said “This is greatly impacting on the availability of test slots.  We urge people who are asymptomatic close contacts to restrict their movements and do an antigen test in advance of booking a PCR test.  All testing is by appointment only and walk in testing is not available at any test centre across CHO1.”

It is equally important that if you think you have COVID-19, or have a positive antigen test result, that you behave like you have COVID-19 and isolate as soon as possible. You do not need to wait for a PCR confirmation.

If you have been identified as a close contact and you are asymptomatic you should:

  • restrict your movements
  • do not go to work, unless you work on your own and can completely avoid other people
  • do not go to a vaccination appointment – reply to your text with the word 'New' or phone 1800 700 700 to reschedule
  • do not use public transport
  • do not have visitors at your home
  • do not visit others, even if you usually care for them
  • do not go to the shops or pharmacy - shop online or ask family or friends to help
  • do not go to gatherings such as weddings or funerals
  • do not meet face-to-face with people at high-risk from COVID-19

New advice for close contacts is also now in place since Wednesday, December 22 where all close contacts, who are asymptomatic will be able to request antigen tests. More details are available here https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/contact-tracing/close-contact/ and https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/testing/antigen-testing/

Last updated on: 29 / 12 / 2021