Do we need a prescription? Are they still reimbursed? All you need to know about Covid-19 testing



SECOND WAVE – Masks are now mandatory in enclosed public spaces. As a complementary tool in the fight against the coronavirus, tests are also becoming a major health concern. LCI answers all your questions on this subject.

“We will end up forgetting that symptomatic people must be prioritized. It is absolutely necessary that a person with the slightest symptoms can be seen by a doctor.” Faced with the acceleration of Covid-19 screening tests in France, François Blanchecotte, president of the biologists’ union, believes that we must remember what the priorities are. This finding is all the more alarming given that the delays in getting tested are getting longer in some French regions. The opportunity also to take stock of all the practical questions surrounding the tests.

Where to get tested?

To perform a virological test, more commonly called PCR, you must go to a screening center. Only doctors and nurses can take this nasopharyngeal sample (throat, nose, nasopharynx). The detailed list of screening centers is available on the website of the Ministry of Health.

The situation of serological tests (search for the presence of antibodies) is a little more complex. Since July 11, rapid diagnostic orientation tests (TROD) can be performed in pharmacies. On the other hand, you have to go to the laboratory for those carried out with a blood test.

A truck equipped by the ARS will also travel through French cities to complete the test needs.

What conditions must be met to be tested?

The government site lists people who can perform a PCR test. Symptomatic people with a prescription, asymptomatic people identified as contact cases and certain vulnerable groups can benefit from it.

Only adults can go to a pharmacy for a TROD serological test. Serological blood tests are generally only prescribed in addition to a PCR test. They are also widely used by nursing staff.

How long does it take to get the results?

The deadlines for PCR and serological tests are theoretically 24 hours. In practice, and because of congestion in some regions, it is often necessary to wait at least 48 or even 72 hours.

Note that for serology, the TRODs allow a very rapid verdict, in a few minutes. The results will be transmitted by the laboratory and / or by the national Covid-19 screening monitoring information system (SI-DEP).

Read also

  • Deadlines are getting longer for Covid-19 tests: “We must prioritize people who have symptoms”
  • Screening tests, health measures … Paris Plages at the time of the virus

How much does a test cost?

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PCR tests cost 54 euros but are fully reimbursed by Health Insurance when the beneficiary meets the conditions (defined above). TROD tests cost between 15 and 25 euros. They are reimbursed if the person who performs them has a prescription.

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