The laboratory forwards a test result for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 within 24-48 hours to digilugu.ee. Estonian residents can check their result on this website by using their ID-card or Mobile-ID. Those who cannot access digilugu.ee can obtain their results by contacting their family health centre or, in the case of paid testing, the results will be communicated to them by a method chosen by their service provider.
Those who have arrived from abroad will receive an additional message from the laboratory if their result was negative.
A negative test result means that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection was not detected in sufficient quantity in the nasopharynx sample, determined by PRC method in the laboratory, and the person is thus not a COVID-19 carrier. More information about different testing methods can be found HERE.
However, a negative test result can also mean that the person gave the sample right after becoming infected and the virus has not yet had the chance to multiply in the organism. If you experience symptoms of upper respiratory disease regardless of your negative test result, it is necessary to stay in self-isolation until the symptoms have subsided.
A positive test result means that the particles of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 were detected in sufficient quantity in the nasopharynx sample. Upon issuing the test result, the laboratory confirms that you are the carrier of the droplet infection COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus. For the correct use of terminology, see also Virus vs Disease).
Those with a positive test result will receive a phone call from the testing call centre (Medicum/SYNLAB) notifying them of their test result, as well as from Health Board inspectors who will explain the necessity for self-isolation and request data for the detection of close contacts.
If you tested positive and have the symptoms:
- COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed. Remain in self-isolation. For more information, see “Self-isolation“.
- Download/Open the HOIA mobile app and mark yourself in it as an infected person.
- Consult your family health centre in order to agree on the next steps.
- You will receive an explanation about the regular course of the infection and information on the emergency warning symptoms that require urgent medical attention.
- If your health condition requires medical examination by a doctor or a nurse, a special appointment will be agreed with you when exposure to other patients in the family health centre has been brought to a minimum and the chance of infecting other people is minimal.
- When coming to the family health centre for your appointment, do not use public transport.
If you tested positive but have no symptoms:
- Remain in self-isolation for 10 days starting from the day the sample was taken – if you haven’t developed symptoms during that time, you are allowed to resume your normal daily activities. However, if you develop symptoms during those 10 days, contact your family health centre immediately.
- If you use the HOIA mobile app, mark yourself in it as an infected person.
Since spring 2020, the laboratory testing methods have become more elaborate. In Estonia, we can now detect an outcome that is on the borderline with high accuracy. In that case, the laboratory issues the test result “Borderline“, which can refer to two states of health:
- The early phase of the infection where the quantity of the virus is not clearly detectable and thus the person is still potentially infectious;
- The healing phase where, after being recently infected, the person has already recovered and most probably is no longer infectious, but the virus is still detectable in a minor quantity.
Result borderline, which may refer to low viral amounts in the sample. Retesting is recommended after 2 days. Those who took a referral-based test need to contact their family health centre to obtain a new referral letter, and those who used the paid testing option have to contact their service provider again.
REFUSAL TO BE TESTED
According to the guidelines issued by the Estonian Society of Family Doctors, if an adult or a child aged 10 or older shows symptoms of severe upper respiratory infection, they are not obliged to give a sample for SARS-CoV-2. However, in case of refusal, the person has to behave in such a manner as if they tested positive for COVID-19.
We wish to thank infectious disease specialists and the Estonian Society of Family Doctors for providing valuable input on the menu items. Their instructions are available HERE.