Laboratories to Inform Patients of Positive Covid-19 Test Result Electronically

Effective from 17 September, all laboratories performing the testing of specimens for the presence of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with the aid of the RT-PCR test will inform the patient if they have tested positive by text message or by e-mail. A new Emergency Measure issued by the Ministry of Health imposes this obligation on them. Until now, this form of communication was only possible in the event of a negative test result.

The Emergency Measure issued by the Ministry determines the obligation to communicate the result of the test without delay, at most within 48 hours of receipt of the specimen for testing. “Communication of a positive test result electronically speeds up the handover of information between the laboratory and the patient. Thanks to this, the patient will find out what their situation is faster and will be able to adapt their behaviour to meet the requirements of the rules which are in place, enabling them to avoid infecting their family, friends or colleagues at work. The message with the result will also include the necessary instructions,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, explaining the situation.

If a patient is informed that they have tested positive for the presence of the coronavirus or that the result of the test is ambiguous, they will also be sent a recommendation that they contact their GP and information on how to proceed in order to prevent any further spread of the disease. In the event of a positive test result, the patient will receive information that they must remain in isolation.

What is home isolation?

Home isolation or self-isolation means staying at home or in a designated area in one dedicated, appropriately ventilated room and, if possible, having the use of a separate toilet. This measure may be recommended to people exhibiting symptoms of the disease or for a specific period of time.

Observe the following rules in home isolation:

  • Limit any and all visitors.
  • Only members of the household who are looking after the person suspected of having contracted the Covid-19 disease should stay home.
  • Separate yourself from the other people in the household.
  • If you want to protect others, use face masks when in the same room with them.
  • Isolate yourself in a well-ventilated room where the windows can be opened.
  • If you do not have a separate toilet you can use, the isolated person should thoroughly clean the toilet after each and every use.
  • Use your own towels, kitchen utensils, glasses, bed linen or other household goods which are normally shared in the household.
  • Be socially active, ask your friends, neighbours or social workers to help run any necessary errands, e.g. shopping for food and medicine.
  • Avoid direct contact when communicating with others. For example, have your shopping delivered to your door.
  • Wash your hands before and after any interaction with others.
  • Follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider (doctor) and call him if your state of health deteriorates.

What is quarantine?

Quarantine means restricting movement of people who might potentially have been exposed to COVID-19 but who are currently healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease. Quarantine is compulsory and mostly takes place at home.

Observe the following rules in quarantine:

  • Stay home (i.e. do not go to work, to school or any public places).
  • Monitor the occurrence of any symptoms of Covid-19 – in particular a high fever, a cough or trouble breathing. If these symptoms occur, contact your GP for advice.
  • If you are troubled by a cough or fever or you have trouble breathing, use a face mask to protect those around you from infection.
  • If possible, agree on the option of working from home with your employer.
  • Clean and disinfect your home, in particular frequently used surfaces and toilets.
  • Be socially active, ask your friends, neighbours or social workers to help run any necessary errands, e.g. shopping for food and medicine.
  • Stay in contact with your family and friends by telephone and e-mail or on social media.
  • Gain information about the Covid-19 disease from credible sources.
  • Keep physically active to stay in shape physically and mentally.

All of these instructions may also for example be provided to the patient via a link to a website containing this information.

Emergency Measure – order for laboratories regarding communication of test results, effective from 17 September 2020