where, when and how to get tested?


As the epidemic experiences a slight recovery in France, Emmanuel Macron said he wanted “all French people who wish can get tested without a medical prescription“, during his interview on July 14th. But who can get tested? And how? France Bleu takes stock.

How to get tested?

There are several types of tests. First, the virological test (RT-PCR): it is a nasal or salivary sample. A health professional passes a cotton swab inside the nostril, this can detect if germs are present and therefore, if the person is carrying the virus at the time of the test. The result is usually available within 24 hours.

The serological test detects the presence of antibodies in the body. It is done via a blood test. Reliable tests have been listed on the Ministry of Health website.

Where to get tested?

PCR tests are performed by healthcare professionals in a screening center. They are then analyzed in a laboratory. The Minister of Health lists on this site centers where you can get tested.

Serological tests are carried out in the laboratory. But pharmacies are also now allowed to do rapid serological tests to detect if a patient has been affected by the coronavirus. A drop of blood is taken by pricking the skin, usually at the fingertip, it takes a few minutes to get the result.

Who can get tested?

If you have symptoms (cough, fever, loss of taste and smell, difficulty breathing or sore throat), you can get tested by medical prescription.

A test is also possible, without a prescription, if you are identified as having been in contact, with a high risk of transmission, with a person tested positive. The Health Insurance services come into contact with you, and ask you to stay in “preventive fortnight”. They tell you when to do your test: immediately if you live in the same household as the infected person, or by observing a period of seven days after your last contact with this person, if you do not live with them.

Finally, a test is performed for “certain audiences as part of specific screening campaigns “ : fragile people, residents of collective accommodation structures and staff working in these structures in the event of a first confirmed case, territories identified as vulnerable.

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How much does a test cost?

The virological test (RT-PCR) is 100% covered by Health Insurance. The vast majority of laboratories dispense advance fees, you will therefore have nothing to pay. However, it may happen that you are asked to advance the costs of carrying out the test when you go to the screening center.

The cost of the screening test is 54 euros. If you have to advance the costs, the whole will be reimbursed on the treatment sheet.

Concerning serological tests, the reference prices fixed for the reimbursement of the act of performing (only on prescription) are respectively 12.15 euros for an Elisa test and 9.45 euros for a rapid diagnostic test.

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