Close Contacts Of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases To Take A PCR Test

Close contacts of confirmed cases of Cornavirus will be asked to take a PCR test withing 48 hours of being identified, even if they do not have symptoms.

Until now only people with symptoms had to take a PCR test. This additional measure, which will see all close contacts advised to have a PCR test, is aimed at identifying those close contacts who do not have symptoms but who could potentially be carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This testing of asymptomatic contacts will provide further opportunities to identify more cases who would otherwise be unknown, to the Contact Tracing Service.
News Image
Health Minister Robin Swann said: "Testing of close contacts is the next step in the ongoing development of our testing initiatives in Northern Ireland. Expanding and targeting PCR testing is a significant move in our fight against COVID-19, it will assist us as we move carefully out of restrictions and in keeping Northern Ireland open and moving.

"We know that one in three people with COVID-19 may not have symptoms and may therefore spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus without knowing it. By recommending PCR testing to all close contacts we will track how the virus is spreading and this will help to further break chains of infection. Testing of close contact combined with enhanced contact tracing allows us to identify potential sources of infection an new cases earlier and will help keep us one step ahead in interrupting transmission."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 March 2020
Roselawn Crematorium To Close To Mourners
Roselawn Crematorium is to close to mourners and families from Monday 23 March. Cremations will be carried out however no family can be in attendance, Belfast City Council has confirmed. Burials will also go ahead, with mourners at the graveside and funeral directors urged to consider public health advice around social distancing.
16 September 2002
Larne test centre receives top quality award
Management and staff of the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency’s Larne Test Centre have received a top award in recognition of their achievements from Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt today.
24 January 2020
P7 Pupils To Receive Entrance Test Results
The Education Minister has sent his best wishes to primary school pupils awaiting entrance test results this weekend. Official marks for CEA's AQE and the GL PPTC Assessment will be published on Saturday morning, 25 January, arriving at children's homes that morning.
04 December 2008
Motorbiker Minister Launches Test
A Stormont Minister who is well known for his passion for motorcycling has today leapt into the saddle to test drive a new NI test for motorcyclists.
07 July 2009
GPs To Spearhead Flu Monitoring
Just days after it was announced that the UK was moving to a 'treatment phase' in relation to managing the swine flu pandemic, it has been revealed that information on flu activity in Northern Ireland will now be monitored through GP practices and hospital surveillance systems.