The CECC reported nearly 90,000 local cases and a new high of 76 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday. Starting tomorrow, the general public will be able to use a positive rapid test to get an official COVID diagnosis from a doctor. They will no longer need to undergo a PCR test to confirm their rapid test outcome. Let''s hear from the CECC.

Chen Shih-chung

CECC head

Generally speaking, in a given area, if the PCR positivity rate is less than 10%, then these test outcomes will be less than 90% consistent with the rapid test outcomes. Why didn’t we implement this policy in April, when the PCR positivity rate hit 14%? It’s because the rates differed greatly from region to region. We did a pilot run for this policy for people 65 and older, people who live in rural areas, as well as people in quarantine, isolation or self-health management. As we’ve gradually worked out the details, the legal conditions for the policy have also matured, so the time is right. In most parts of the country, the PCR positivity rate is now high enough for there to be an 80% or 90% consistency with rapid test outcomes. So we want to announce that starting May 26, all positive rapid tests that are confirmed by a doctor will be counted as a COVID diagnosis.

Individuals can still get a PCR test, if their positive rapid test is disputed by a physician. PCR testing will also remain available to COVID patients in hospitals and people in high-risk groups.