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Corona tests- everything that is important to know

Why are Corona tests important, where do they take place, what is the test procedure, how long does it take to get results, and what should you do afterwards?

 

Performing a corona detection test can prevent further infections and maintain the health of those around us. It is important to know, the actual performance of the test does not require quarantine, unless quarantine is required for another reason. You must arrive at the test with a form of identification such as an ID card or driver's license.


Where can the test be performed?

Testing compounds open to the public -
Corona tests can be performed at complexes operated by the Home Front Command and local municipalities, which are open to the general public all over the country. There is no need for a referral or to make an appointment in advance. The compound locations and times can change, so it is advised to check the list before leaving for the testing compounds.
Where possible and according to the conditions in the testing complexes, priority will be given to people with disabilities, pregnant women and senior citizens. Please see one of the representatives in the compound.

Some of the compounds operate in a “test and drive” (drive-in) format and can be reached with a vehicle for the test (the vehicle must have closed windows), and some of the complexes must be reached on foot. Those who are required to stay in quarantine due to exposure to a verified patient, entered Israel, or show symptoms, and are required to perform the test should perform the test only at the “test and drive” compounds.

HMO testing compounds   
It is possible to be tested at HMOs by making an appointment in advance, and only in one of these cases:  receiving a referral from a doctor, people with symptoms, or people who came in contact with a verified patient, for the purpose of shortening quarantine, and other exceptional cases. The HMO will refer the examinee to the available testing point closest to their place of residence (in some cases the testing will take place at the examinee's home). Those who are not insured with any health insurance can contact the “Health Voice” Center at *5400. A detailed list of HMO contact information can be found further in this document.


Corona examination for minors under 18 years of age

Those under the age of 18 can perform the test in the test compounds open to the general public, accompanied only by a parent or guardian. If it is not possible to come with a parent or guardian, a parental consent document must be presented in order for the minor to be tested. The document must include the parent and minor's details - full name, ID number, residential address, mobile phone number and signature, and an attached photocopy of the parent's ID and ID slip with the details of the minor being tested.

Corona tests for soldiers
IDF soldiers and permanent personnel currently take tests only at Home Front Command compounds. The results are received in a message sent to the cell phone and in the unit's clinic.


Why is Corona testing important?

The Coronavirus is a dangerous virus, the severity of which varies from person to person. Some people develop flu-like symptoms, but there are also people who develop severe symptoms, which manifest as difficulty breathing and can develop into pneumonia, respiratory syndrome and even death. Those who suffer from a depressed immune system, certain chronic diseases and those aged 65 and over are at increased risk for more serious illness.

The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, fatigue and dry cough. Other symptoms associated with it are muscle, head, and throat pain, as well as loss of sense of taste and smell. However, a significant proportion do not develop symptoms at all (being asymptomatic) and may not even know they are infected, but may still infect those around them.

Therefore, it is important to get tested for the virus to prevent further infections and maintain the health of those around us. Performing the test is especially important for people who have gone into isolation due to exposure to a verified patient, for people who believe they may have been exposed to the virus and for people who come into contact with at-risk populations, such as those who live with or meet with an older generation. Only in this way can we keep the people we care about safe and prevent them from becoming infected.


How is the test performed?

The test for the presence of the corona virus is short, simple and safe to perform. The test is performed using a cotton swab - a stick with a cotton ball at the end - and inserted into the mouth and nose to collect airway secretions. Only in special cases, where a different technique is needed (small children, the elderly or people with other problems), it is possible to take a sample from the tongue with a stick or collect saliva in a test tube.

During the entire test, it is mandatory to wear a mask, maintain a distance of 2 meters from other people and maintain hygiene, and obey the instructions of the test teams.


Guidelines for performing the Coronavirus test for people required to quarantine

A person who is required to be in quarantine, or who is exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus, can leave to perform the test under the following conditions:
• A mask must be worn during the entire time spent outside the place of quarantine, aside from the duration of the test itself and according to the tester’s instructions.
• Arrival at the test and returning from it must be done as quickly as possible and for the test only, with no additional stops on the way.
• It is forbidden to use public transportation, aside from taxis, and only under the following conditions: the driver must be informed about the quarantine before entering the taxi, the windows must be opened, and the quarantined person will sit in the back seat, with no additional passengers unless it is another person quarantined in the same space.
• The testing will be performed at a “test and drive” (drive-in) compound only, under the condition that the person being tested does not exit the vehicle. In the case of a person who is unable to leave their home, it is possible to perform the test at home after coordinating it with the HMO.

 

Who is required to go into quarantine after the test?

• Those who are referred for examination following close contact with a confirmed patient and following a return from a red country abroad are required to observe the quarantine rules during the examination and remain in isolation even after the examination, until the end of the reason for home isolation according to the guidelines. Please note, members of the household are considered to be in close contact, so if one of the members of the household receives a positive result during the test, all members of the household must enter the isolation immediately before performing an epidemiological inquiry or receiving a doctor's instruction, unless they have not been at home for the entire period of infection.

• Those who are referred for examination due to suspicion of a disease in the corona are also required to observe the isolation rules during the examination and remain in isolation afterwards, but if a negative result is obtained, it is possible to leave the isolation. 

Anyone who performs the test for any other reason is not required to enter quarantine following the test, unless a positive result is received. Please note: the testing itself does not require entering quarantine, unless quarantine is required for some other reason.


How long until you get the results and how?

The test results are provided to the subjects via a text message to the cellular phone, and in a message added to the personal records in your HMO. If the person taking the test is not insured with an HMO, the result is obtained from the Ministry of Health. The results are usually delivered within 48 hours.


How to proceed after receiving the results?

• In case of a negative result - a person who performed the test because he was exposed to a verified patient or returned from red countries abroad, is required to remain in quarantine until the end of the 14 day period. It is possible to shorten the quarantine period to 10 days if one adheres to the following guidelines. A person that takes the test due to the appearance of symptoms may exit quarantine as long as thet do not need to be in quarantine for a different reason.
 
• In case of a positive result - enter quarantine immediately if you have not been in quarantine before. It is the responsibility of their HMO’s representative to contact the examinee as soon as possible. If the result is positive and the representative does not make contact - contact the HMO call center. The decision to transfer to a state-run quarantine hotel or hospitalization is made by the HMO, depending on the patient's medical and personal condition. 


Contacting the HMOs:

Clalit -   *2700 or on the HMO’s website.
Maccabi -   *3555 on the HMO’s website.
Leumit -   1-700-507-507, on the HMO’s website.
Meuhedet -   *3833 on the HMO’s website.