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Confirmatory PCR Tests Offered Again

Islanders can one again have a PCR test to confirm they have Covid-19.

They were halted just after Christmas because of the big increase in the number of people reporting positive home tests as the Omicron variant spread rapidly through the Bailiwick.

Since 27 December islander who have tested positive at home on a Lateral Flow Test have not had a PCR test to confirm their infection.

The authorities say the steep decline in Covid cases means they can now make PCRs available again for those who want one.

If the PCR is negative, there is no need to self-isolate.

People who were symptomatic but testing LFT negative were always able to have a PCR test and this will remain the case.

The States of Guernsey says there is no requirement to have a confirmatory PCR, and it is personal choice.

"I want to thank islanders for the fantastic response we had to our change of testing strategy, announced over the Christmas weekend. At that time we were seeing significant increases in the number of positive cases and needed to streamline the management of cases, with a focus on community testing on lateral flow tests. We have continued to see islanders doing the right things, following the guidance and for that we are grateful.

But as cases have now dropped so rapidly we are in a position to again offer the flexibility of a PCR test should an islander want it following a positive LFT. This does mean that you can be released immediately if your PCR test is negative. It is not a requirement for anyone to do this, we are offering this option for people who wish to take this up." - Dr Nicola Brink, Medical Officer of Health.

The process for testing is:
• If you receive a positive LFT you must immediately notify the States of Guernsey via either the clinical helpline (01481 220001 or 01481 220002) or the online form at https://www.gov.gg/covidnotification

• The online form has been updated to include an option to request a confirmatory PCR test if desired, or this can be requested via the clinical helpline.

• If you have decided against having a confirmatory PCR test after notifying of your positive LFT, you will receive confirmation that you must now self-isolate for 10 days, with a reduction in self-isolation if you are symptom-free and test LFT negative on days 6 and 7. This confirmation will include all the necessary legal requirements and advice, including the steps that must be followed if you are able to release yourself  from isolation on day 7  due to change from Monday 24th January to the potential to self-release on Day 6).

• You will be asked to notify close contacts that they are requested to take an LFT daily for 10 days, while also limiting their social contacts during this time.

• If you are symptomatic but LFT negative, contact the clinical helpline on (01481 220001 or 01481 220002) or complete the online form at
https://www.gov.gg/covidnotification as you may still be referred for a PCR test depending on your symptoms.

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