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What to do when your Antigen Rapid Test result is positive in Singapore

These are the 10 steps to take if your ART indicates a positive result.

Noreen Shazreen
Noreen Shazreen

Probably the coolest cat lady you’ll ever meet.


Published: 20 September 2021, 1:36 PM

As Singapore gradually transitions to a COVID-19 resilient nation, all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are encouraged to self-test regularly using the antigen rapid test (ART) kits.

These self-test kits have been made available over the counter for individuals who are concerned about the possibility of contracting COVID-19.

Regular self-tests are a key measure in Singapore’s fight against the pandemic. Here are the 10 steps an individual should take should their ART indicate a positive result.

1. Perform a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab

Individuals who are unwell or have received a positive ART result are required to visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab.

They should immediately return home via private transportation (a car or taxi) and remain isolated at home, preferably in a room with an attached bathroom, until they receive their PCR results. In addition, they are strongly encouraged to physically distance themselves from others and keep their masks on.

An individual will typically receive their PCR test result from their doctor within 24 to 48 hours. They may also view their results through HealthHub.

2. If an individual is discovered to be COVID-positive

If an individual is discovered to be COVID-positive, he should remain isolated in a room and avoid any physical contact with any household members.

3. Enter the Home Recovery model

The individual will be managed under the Home Recovery model of care by default if they meet the requirements, at which point they will be issued a 10-day Isolation Order.

In order to qualify for the Home Recovery model, individuals must be fully vaccinated, aged 12 to 69 years old, and have no or mild symptoms, severe comorbidities, or illness.

Their households should not include the elderly aged 80 and over, as well as individuals in vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, individuals with weakened immune systems, and individuals suffering from multiple comorbid conditions.

Those who are eligible for the model can expect to receive an SMS within 24 hours. A link will be provided for them to enter their details in order to begin their Home Recovery safely.

Alternatively, if the individual is unsuitable for home recovery, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will arrange for him to recover in a community care facility or hospital.

Younger, fully vaccinated individuals are strongly advised to recover at home, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in a Facebook post on Sunday (Sep 19), as that would help free up resources in hospitals for cases that are more critical.

“Our ICU capacity is still holding up, but it is A&E and general wards that are coming under pressure. Our hospitals and healthcare workers cannot be overburdened. At this point, this is MOH’s biggest challenge and we are doing our best to solve this,” Mr Ong said after the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Singapore.

4. Monitor temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation rate at least once a day

When recovering at home, individuals must monitor their temperature, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation rate at least once per day.

A Care Pack will be provided if they do not have a thermometer and pulse oximeter. To facilitate the tracing of close contacts, the individual can pass his TraceTogether token (if applicable) to the officer when the Care Pack is delivered. 

They will also be required to wear a wristband tag to ensure they adhere to the stipulated movement restrictions and remain in the designated room or the house (if they are staying alone) at all times.

5. Inform household members to register themselves as close contacts

Affected individuals are urged to notify all household members living in the same residential address to register themselves as close contacts, using the link provided. This is necessary for them to obtain an electronic Quarantine Order.

6. Commencement of home recovery

A telemedicine provider will determine if the patient is clinically well by conducting an initial remote assessment. The individual will be paired with an officer, called a Home Recovery Buddy, to help them through the process of recovery.

7. An individual should stay in their room throughout the recovery process

During the Home Recovery period, an individual is not permitted to leave his room. To reduce exposure to others, they should maintain high levels of personal hygiene by regularly washing their hands with soap and performing contactless transactions.

As a result, food and groceries will need to be delivered to the household. Visitors should also refrain from visiting the household during this period.

8. Monitor health conditions closely every day

Individuals are required to constantly monitor their health statuses, such as their temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation, and submit the information via the link provided in the Home Recovery Booklet.

9. Take a PCR test to determine their recovery status

To determine the individual’s recovery status, a PCR test can be taken on Day 6. If the individual displays a low viral load or is COVID-negative, he is discharged and may resume daily activities the following day.

Individuals who have high viral loads or decide not to take the PCR test on Day 6 will have to continue isolating themselves until the end of the isolation period. Those who are well will be discharged on the 10th day.

10. Minimise social interactions upon discharge from Home Recovery

Individuals discharged from Home Recovery are encouraged to minimise social interactions for the next seven days and contact their telemedicine provider for a Medical Certificate (MC) if they need more rest.

For those who aren’t vaccinated yet, you can book your appointment here.  


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