It’s happening! Free coronavirus testing for all after June 1 explained

After weeks of potentially sick people being rejected from coronavirus testing, the Netherlands will finally begin widespread testing from June 1. 

Starting from next Monday, everyone with mild complaints will be able to get a test. Anyone will be able to call a specialized phone line and make an appointment with the GGD, with the goal being to get tested within 24 hours. And, we’ll all be happy to know that testing will be completely free.

80 locations for testing

Throughout the Netherlands, there will be 80 different locations where people will be able to get a test. The government has a plan to create even more testing sites if the demand is high.

Those who are tested should get the results back within 48 hours and if you test positive, the GGD will then start contact and source research.

What is contact and source research?

Essentially, the GGD will be looking into who an infected person was in contact with in the last 24 hours. There are three different groups of people that get contacted by the GGD if someone tests positive:

  • Housemates: If they live with other people, they need to go into home quarantine for 14 days. They will also be monitored for signs of contagion.
  • Close contacts: People who have been within 1.5 metres from the infected person for more than 15 minutes will also be asked to stay at home. This also includes potential partners you’ve kissed or someone you might’ve coughed close to.
  • Non-close contacts: People who have have been in the same room with you for 15 minutes, such as work colleagues or classmates are asked to stay alert in regards to their symptoms. But, they do not have to go into quarantine.

New testing capacity

In recent weeks, there was an average of 4000 tests conducted daily, with around 5% of people testing positive. The number of tests will increase greatly in the near future.

Testing laboratories can already conduct 17,500 tests per day. At the start of June, that capacity will increase to around 30,000 daily tests. The GGD expects to see around 2% of people testing positive or around 600 people per day.

Initial problems with testing to be expected

Dutch Health Minister, Hugo De Jonge, confirms that there will be initial start-up problems, given the complicated logistics involved. Nevertheless, he is confident in the GGD’s ability to expand its testing capacity.

Director of Public Health, Sjaak de Gouw of GGD (Municipal Health Service) has also warned that there will be initial setbacks and that the task at hand is complex. He said that “it may take longer to make an appointment and get tested in the beginning. But we make sure that anyone with complaints related to the coronavirus is helped as quickly as possible.”

Are you looking forward to being able to be tested if necessary? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Abuzer Van Leuuwen/Supplied

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

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