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COVID-19 PCR Test Priority to be Given to High-Risk Groups from Feb. 3

Written: 2022-01-26 15:08:06Updated: 2022-01-26 15:24:13

COVID-19 PCR Test Priority to be Given to High-Risk Groups from Feb. 3

Photo : YONHAP News

Starting on February 3, the government will give priority access to COVID-19 PCR tests to high-risk groups, as an omicron-driven spike in cases takes hold.

Senior health ministry official Son Young-rae said on Wednesday that right after the Lunar New Year holiday, test sites will be expanded to local hospitals and clinics, with PCR tests to be offered to people who have come into close contact with a patient, have respiratory symptoms and seniors aged 60 or older.

Priority-based testing was first implemented in four omicron risk areas - the southwestern city of Gwangju, surrounding South Jeolla Province, and the Gyeonggi Province cities of Pyeongtaek and Anseong - on Wednesday.

Those not at high risk will take the rapid antigen test at state-designated centers and private medical clinics that have volunteered to participate. If they test positive, they will be able to take the PCR test at the same sitting.

The government will begin providing antigen test kits to state facilities from Saturday. People seeking to get tested over the holiday will be able to choose between a PCR test and an antigen test through February 2.

Meanwhile, the quarantine and at-home treatment period for fully vaccinated people has also been shortened from ten to seven days starting Wednesday. Fully vaccinated is defined as those who have had 14 days pass since their third shot or within 90 days after their second shot.

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