Photo Credit: Eitan Elhadaz/TPS
The new Israeli rapid Covid-19 test

Fully vaccinated Israelis up to age 60 who are exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 carrier will be able to use an antigen home test to determine whether they need to enter quarantine, the health ministry announced Wednesday — at least at first.

Fully vaccinated Israelis ages 60 and older, however – and other vulnerable Israelis – are still required to take a PCR test if exposed to a COVID-19 carrier.

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The updated rule – along with others – takes effect starting this Friday, January 7.

A positive result on the antigen test automatically mandates one to follow up with a second rapid test at a Health Ministry-approved site – and if that result in positive, the patient is required to enter a 10-day quarantine. A doctor’s approval is necessary for exiting the quarantine.

A positive result on the PCR test requires Israelis age 60 and up, and those who are deemed “vulnerable” to go directly into a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

If the PCR test is negative, no quarantine is required.

The regulations are different, however, for those who are unvaccinated, and “at risk.” Those who are 59 and under can receive a supervised antigen test at an HMO clinic – but are required to enter a seven-day quarantine even with a negative test result.

A second negative supervised antigen test result on day seven enables one to exit the isolation. A positive result means the quarantine is extended to 10 days and ends only with the approval of a physician.

Those ages 60 and up who are unvaccinated and/or have not had the virus and recovered must use a PCR test and if the result is negative, enter a seven-day quarantine and get another PCR test on day seven.

In addition to other lawmakers who have contracted the virus over the past several weeks, one can now add Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gilad Erdan. The ambassador tested positive for COVID-19 after his children came down with the virus.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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