What the process looks like
1) Suspicion of the infection
a) You have symptoms of acute respiratory disease; contact your GP who will issue you a request for the PCR test;
b) You are positively tested by an antigen test performed by the health care professional at the sampling place or at the doctor's – the result of the antigen test is available 15-30 minutes after the sampling; if the test is positive, the same place will issue you a request for the PCR test (every positive antigen test needs to be confirmed by a positive PCR test). If they do PCR tests as well at the same place, the sampling may be collected immediately but that depends on the occupancy of the place.
2) A request for the PCR test
A request for the PCR test issued by your GP or another health care professional at the sampling place is saved into the system and all sampling places have access to it. You do not need it in either its electronic or paper form.
People under 18, people with at least 1st dose of vaccination who do not yet have 14 days after the finished vaccination, people who cannot be vaccinated (the contraindication must be recorded in ISIN by the physician, usually it is an allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine), fully vaccinated people who do not have yet 270 days since receiving the last dose of the basic vaccination scheme (Janssen - 1st dose, Comirnaty, Spikevax, Vaxzevria, Nuvaxovid - 2nd dose), and people who received the booster dose can undergo a test paid for by the healthcare insurance (“for free”) 5 times per week even without the request. Other people must pay for the test without the request themselves (self-payers); it costs maximally CZK 814 without VAT. It is important to undergo the PCR test since without the positive result you will not be generated a certificate of past disease!
3) Selection of the sampling place
Choose the most convenient sampling place and book your date on the Ministry of Health’s websites as soon as the symptoms or positive antigen test occur.
4) Sampling for the PCR test
At the sampling place, you will undergo sampling for the PCR test.
5) The test results
You will receive the test results within 48 hours of receiving the sample in the laboratory. The test result is sent to the tested person automatically via a text message.
When you are tested positive, alongside the SMS from the laboratory you will also receive an opening SMS and the self-reporting code from the Smart Quarantine's central systems. The message is as follows (or similar):
Pro Alexandr B. (r.n. XXXX): bylo u vas potvrzeno onemocneni covid-19. Vyplnte sebetrasovani na https://covidlab.cz (kod XXXXXXXXXXX) a informujte osoby, se kterymi jste byl/a v uzkem kontaktu behem poslednich dvou dnu pred projevem priznaku nemoci nebo pred testem. Dodrzujte pravidla IZOLACE dle pokynu na https://covid.gov.cz/poz do XX.XX. Kontaktujte sveho lekare pro informace o lecbe a pro pripadne vystaveni neschopenky. Dekujeme, KHS
To Alexander B. (y. of birth XXXX): you are positive for the COVID-19 disease. Fill in the self-reporting at https://covidlab.cz (code XXXXXXXXXXX) and inform people that you were in close contact with in the last two days before the occurrence of symptoms or positive test. Follow the rules of ISOLATION according to https://covid.gov.cz/poz until XX.XX. For information about the treatment and issuing a sick leave contact your GP. Thank you, Regional Hygiene Station
In this text message, there are the most important information, especially information about the need to follow isolation for 7 days from the positive test. Then there are information about self-reporting - the text message refers to a website that after filling in the PIN from the text message serves for pre-filling of the basic personal data about you and your risky contacts.
Start following the rules of isolation.
We ask you to use the self-reporting forms as much as possible. By that, you save time that you will otherwise spend by a long call with the Regional Hygiene Station or a call center, and help to speed up the tracing of other people by which you will contribute to the end of the pandemics. Please realize that anyone of your risky contacts can be infected, can further spread the disease, and that may ultimately cost the life of someone close to you.
The self-reporting is divided into sections:
a) In the section “about you” you fill in the name, surname, personal identification number, address, telephone, email, name of your GP, if you have or do not have symptoms, what symptoms and when they occurred, employment, and the last time you went there,
b) In the section “about risky contacts” you will have to recall persons you have been in contact with within the last few days; if you show symptoms, we are tracking the risky contacts to 2 days before the occurrence of the first symptoms, if you do not show symptoms, we are tracking the contacts to 2 days before the first positive test; if you have a problem recalling what you have done and who you have been with for the last few days, we recommend you to go through your planner, photo album on your phone, etc.
Risky contacts are:
a) a person sharing the same household with a positively tested person
b) a person in a one-time intensive contact with a positively tested person (e.g. kiss, hug, handshake, sneezing, coughing, etc.)
c) a person in contact with a positively tested person on a distance shorter than 1.5 meters and for longer than 5 minutes or in case of multiple repeated contacts for shorter periods of time without using adequate respiratory protection
d) a person in one room (an office, classroom, waiting room) with a positively tested person for longer than 5 minutes without using adequate respiratory protection
e) a person seated 2 rows around a positively tested person in a bus, train, or airplane, plus personnel that works there
You fill in the name, surname, and phone number of your risky contacts.
Often happens that people do not want to report their risky contacts and the risky contacts do not want the positively tested people to report them. Please realize that if these people are infected, they can infect anyone else, he or she then infects other people, etc. Not reporting the risky contact may ultimately lead to worsening of the epidemics and that may lead to the death of someone close to you. Tracking is a very important epidemiologic tool for stopping the spreading of epidemics and saving lives.
Report your risky contacts so that they can be issued an e-Request and e-sick leave and do not have to pay for the test nor lose the wage compensation.
9) Contact with the GP
Contact your GP who recommends you the next steps and also, if you need it, issues you a temporary e-sick leave. If you are a parent, contact your child’s GP who recommends you the next steps and also, if you need it, issues you a family member care (OČR).
11) The end of isolation
You can end your isolation after 7 days from the sampling of the first positive test performed by a health care professional if in the last 2 days no symptoms occurred; otherwise, the isolation prolongs for the whole time of having symptoms plus 2 days without them. The GP will then also end your sick leave or family member care.
Isolation cannot be terminated by undertaking a PCR test, its minimum length is 7 days.
Isolation is an epidemiologic term for the restriction of movement of the ill infectious person to one place to minimize his or her contact with healthy people and by that minimize the risk of their infecting.
Isolation is ordered based on the positive test. Information about isolation is contained already in the text message from the Regional Hygiene Station, respectively call center, and then orally confirmed in the call with the Regional Hygiene Station or a call center, or in the written form, if needed.
Isolation is ordered for at least 7 days after the first positive sample. You can end your isolation after 7 days from the sampling of the first positive test if in the last 2 days no symptoms occurred; otherwise, the isolation prolongs for the whole time of having symptoms plus 2 days without them.
Isolation cannot be terminated by undertaking a PCR test, its minimum length is 7 days.
The isolation is recognized by the law and there are high sanctions for its violations.
Please realize that you are infectious and can endanger anyone in your surroundings. If you share a household with other people, do maximum for not infecting them. It is quite common that the infected person infects other members of the household even though they are vaccinated. That is because in the household, there is very intensive contact between infected and healthy people. The amount of the secreted virus is so big that it overcomes even immunity gained by vaccination or suffering from the disease.
If you can spend your isolation alone, such as at the cottage, use this option. Especially if you share the household with people from groups high at-risk, such as old people or people with chronic diseases and especially immune diseases.
If you cannot, divide your household into sections for the healthy and for the ill (at least 1 room, better would be a separate part of the apartment or house with its own sanitary facilities). In the section for the ill, there should be only the ill person and no healthy people should visit this section (since there is a great amount of virus and a healthy person might get infected only by a short visit). In the section for the healthy, there should be only healthy people and no ill person should visit this section.
Do not be in direct contact with other people. If you need to purchase food, for example, ask your family member, neighbor, friend, use delivery service, or volunteers that help at some places, and ask them to leave your purchase at the door. Wait before the person leaves and pick up your purchase after that. Follow this rule not only for people outside of your household but also for members of the same household.
If you really need to visit the section for the healthy, e.g., to use the bathroom, toilet, or kitchen, follow the basic anti-pandemic measure 3R ("masks-hands-distancing"). All people present should wear a respirator with protection class at least FFP2 the whole time. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and disinfect them. Ventilate the rooms as much as possible. If it is possible, be alone in the room; if that is not possible, keep your distance from everyone else in the room and stay for as short time as possible. After the ill person leaves the room, disinfect the floor and used surfaces (switches, knobs, handles, TV remote controls, kitchen unit, tables, chairs, etc.). If you do not have separate sanitary facilities, visit them after healthy people, bring your own towel and disinfect after yourself (toilet, flush, switches, knobs, handles, floor, etc.).
Used clothes meant for washing pile up in your section. After piling up a larger amount of clothes, wash them separately after the healthy members’ washing at the highest temperature possible.
Have your own trash can. Use a thick-walled garbage bag. After its filling, tie it in a way that it would not untie, disinfect it, leave it behind the door and ask another family member to throw it away for you.
Do not leave your household and do not accept any visitors.
Watch your health condition and in case of its worsening, contact your GP or a specialist that treats you for your basic diseases. As goes with other diseases, if your health condition needs it, call an emergency medical service on 155.
When treating the COVID-19 disease, follow the isolation. Please realize that you are infectious and can endanger anyone in your surroundings. If you need medication, a family member who is not in quarantine, a neighbor, or a family acquaintance should buy them for you, or you can order some medicine alongside your purchase with delivery service such as Košík, Rohlík, etc.
As goes with other diseases, follow the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep for at least 7 hours a day, rest, and do not strain yourself both physically and mentally. When ill, people often do not feel thirst or hunger, especially old people who are then often hospitalized not for a serious disease but for dehydration and malnutrition. Stay hydrated (especially if you have a fever and are sweating), and if you are not hungry, do not force yourself to eat but do not starve yourself either. Eat healthy with enough fruits and vegetables, and do not eat food that is too sweet, salty, or fat.
Treatment of COVID-19 is for people with a mild or moderate course similar to common seasonal virosis and flu – all you need to do is try to suppress the symptoms and the immune system will do the rest.
Common COVID-19 symptom is fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain. Fever is a natural reaction of the body and its immune system to the infection. Higher temperature supports the immune system and harms the virus. This borderline temperature is approximately 38.5 °C. Higher temperature can cause primarily worsening of the basic diseases e.g., cardiovascular disease. Measure your temperature multiple times a day and keep records of it for a consultation with a physician, if applicable.
At higher temperature and pains, you can use common freely available medicines. Different medicine contains different active substances, these are written in smaller letters under the commercial name of the medicine. For example, a medicine containing active substances ibuprofen and paracetamol. These substances you can combine freely and use together. With paracetamol, you can also use another medicine instead of ibuprofen e.g., with the active substance acylpyrin. However, you cannot combine e.g., ibuprofen with acylpyrin. Beware of medicines that contain more active substances; these medicines follow the same rules as if you were using them independently.
Always remember that EVERY MEDICINE NEEDS TO BE USED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS PACKAGE LEAFLET. Especially NONE OF THE ACTIVE SUBSTANCES INCLUDED IN INDIVIDUAL MEDICINES CANNOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSAGE. Also, SOME ACTIVE SUBSTANCES CANNOT BE USED BY PEOPLE WITH SO-CALLED CONTRAINDICATIONS written in the package leaflet, especially by people with liver and kidney diseases. Your physician or pharmacist should tell you all the important information.
If the fever does not subside even after days of treatment or if your health condition is getting worse, contact your GP and if the serious course of any of the symptoms occurs, call an emergency medical service on 155.
Another very common symptom is cough. You can once again use all common freely available medicines for suppressing irritating dry cough or for facilitating wet cough (productive). Again, every medicine needs to be used in accordance with the package leaflet and your physician or pharmacist should tell you all the important information.
A novelty in treating COVID-19 is the use of monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies aimed against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it prevents its attachment and entry of the virus into human cells. Therefore, monoclonal antibodies do not treat the disease but prevent its outbreak.
To use this treatment, you have to fulfill the following 4 conditions:
1) A person older than 12 years old,
2) With risk factors of hospitalization, serious course, and death,
3) Positively tested for COVID-19,
4) With mild to moderate symptoms lasting for less than 7 days not requiring hospitalization.
The monoclonal antibodies need to be administrated on time. They can be prescribed to you by your GP, or ambulance or hospital specialist who issues you a request and agrees with you and the hospital on the date of administration. People over 65 years old can go to the hospital for the monoclonal antibodies administration even without a request from their GP because they are evaluated as people highly at-risk. Monoclonal antibodies are administered in the hospital during a stay lasting several hours in the form of intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection. A list of hospitals that are administrating monoclonal antibodies can be found at the Ministry of Health’s websites.
Monoclonal antibodies can be used together with other medicine, in patients with kidney and liver disease, pregnant, and breastfeeding. They do not replace vaccination. Vaccination is possible only after 3 months of the application of antibodies.
AFTER THE ISOLATION
7 days after the first positive test performed by a health care professional, you are no longer infectious and you do not endanger your surroundings. The isolation ends if no symptoms occurred in the last 2 days. If they did, the isolation prolongs for the whole time of having symptoms plus 2 days without them.
Your immune system has gotten familiar with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if it meets him again in the near future, it will be ready for it. However, this immunity is decreasing with the increasing months of the positive test. Based on available information, it has been established that the protection lasts for 6 months, i.e. 180 days, in which the certificate of past disease is valid. Nevertheless, your protection cannot be predicted or measured in any way. You can suffer from COVID-19 after a month, a year, or more. Even after suffering from the disease, it is important to follow anti-pandemic measures and get vaccinated. The combination of past disease and vaccination provides the best protection. You can get vaccinated right after the end of your isolation, i.e. 7 days from the first positive test; definitely do not wait longer than 3 months after the positive test. You can also use the booster dose.
The end of isolation does not mean the end of all problems. Approximately every third ill person has long-term problems, so-called post-covid syndrome or long covid. These are primarily nervous and mental troubles – fatigue, sleep disorders, disorders of concentration, attention, memory, moods, headaches, at former difficulties with lungs and breathing persistent dyspnoea, especially at higher exertion, and cough. If you have any of the long-term symptoms, contact your GP who will issue you a request for examination by a specialist on these persistent problems after suffering from the COVID-19 disease. A rehabilitation physician and rehabilitation, especially pulmonary rehabilitation, may help you as well.
Formerly, people that after having suffered from COVID-19 disease had a big amount of antibodies could have donated so-called convalescent plasma that has been used to treat people suffering from COVID-19 disease. Nowadays, this plasma is not needed anymore and is not being collected. There is a newer treatment method available – monoclonal antibodies.