What happens if the COVID-19 PCR-test results are inconclusive?

An inconclusive result means that the analysis of a PCR test for the diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not yield a definite answer. There can be different reasons for these results. If the test was ordered because of symptoms it is necessary to undergo a new PCR-test but people have to wait one day to repeat the PCR-test. The test should not be repeated too soon because then there is a greater risk of another inconclusive result.

A new barcode (INC) will be sent the evening of the next day to use the following day. If the results from the repeat PCR-test are positive (the virus was detected), isolation for at least 5 days applies (from the positive PCR-test), if the results are negative no further action is required. If the results are again inconclusive the Landspitali Hospital COVID clinic will contact the individual by phone and decide on the next steps.

Until a definite answer is obtained by PCR, people are asked to follow the instructions for special precautions since infection is possible. Even if the person in question goes into isolation after an inconclusive result, that time will not count towards the isolation period. Isolation is counted from a positive PCR-test and is at least 5 days.

The Chief Epidemiologist

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