Countdown: Where to test yourself before Christmas

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Shortly before the holidays, many people want to quickly check if they are COVID 19 positive or not.. Where this is still possible at the last minute and what you should consider when testing. An overview:

In Vienna, there is probably the largest free test offer. Shortly before Christmas, the city drew up a test strategy for the holidays. The three test roads – at Happel Stadium, at the Austria Center and on the Danube Island – will also be operated over the holidays. Each test street will have a different focus.

At the Austria Center, everyone can now be tested for Covid-19 by rapid test – even more than once. From Friday, however, registration online or by phone via 1450 is mandatory. Family registrations are possible. You can get to the center by public transportation or by car. Open is the test street also on the holidays from 7 to 19 o’clock.
In the future, PCR and antigen tests will be carried out in the test lane near the stadium. A slot must be booked for the rapid tests. Here, mainly contact persons, travelers and trainees from the health sector should participate. However, other people can also drop in. Open has the test street from 6 to 21 o’clock.

On the Danube Island, people who show symptoms and can travel by car are to be tested. Without symptoms, people can also come on foot. Only PCR gargle tests will be offered. Registration is not necessary. However, no rapid tests are offered there.

Cold boxes for people with flu-like symptoms will also continue to be available in the city. Registration is available through the health hotline or online. The boxes will be closed on Dec. 26.

In Vienna, people can also get tested by rapid test at certain pharmacies by calling ahead. The cost of a pharmacy test is usually between 25 and 60 euros.

Lower Austria: Five free test routes
In Lower Austria, on December 21 and 22 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., the possibility of antigen testing will be provided at five locations, announced provincial governor deputy Stephan Pernkopf this week.

The test stations will be set up in Amstetten, Zwettl, Korneuburg, Wiener Neustadt and St. Pölten. The quick test is free of charge. The “Niederösterreich testet” campaign is aimed at anyone aged six and over with a main or secondary residence in Lower Austria. Minors must be accompanied by a parent. Registration is handled online. About one hour after the test, one can retrieve the result online oneself. In addition, you will receive an SMS.

Tyrol: 17 test locations
Starting on December 19, 17 locations in Tyrol will offer the opportunity to take an antigen test free of charge. All Tyroleans over the age of six can register for the test online. Testing will take place seven days a week, usually from 7 am to 4 pm. In Lienz (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.) and Reutte (7 a.m. to noon), the test locations close earlier.

These free testing services are to be available to the Tyrolean population “on a permanent basis,” the state government emphasizes. Registration is possible online via the state homepage or by telephone via the number 1450 of the health advisory service.

In addition to the 17 fixed test locations, there will also be mobile testing facilities. On odd-numbered days between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., buses will be used for testing in Weißenbach am Lech, Kappl, Kaltenbach and Fieberbrunn. On even days, the test buses will be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Längenfeld, Telfs, Wörgl and Matrei in Osttirol. These capacities are evaluated and adjusted on an ongoing basis. News about this can also be found on the provincial homepage. Test results are communicated promptly via SMS or phone call.

Vorarlberg: Tests also beyond Christmas
As part of a “Christmas campaign,” the Vorarlberg state government will offer free testing opportunities at 20 locations spread across the state on December 23 between 4 and 6 p.m. and on December 24 between 10 a.m. and noon. Beyond this time period, testing will only take place at the stationary sample collection point in the Dornbirn exhibition center: on December 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on December 24 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Anyone wishing to take a free antigen test is asked to register on the state’s website by December 20 at the latest. Alternatively, it is also possible to book an appointment by telephone on 0810 810 600. Capacity is initially set at 3,000 people, but can be increased. The results will be sent by SMS within a few minutes.

For the period after Christmas, the provincial government has announced the opening of a permanent and free antigen testing line for symptomless persons, which will be located in the Dornbirn exhibition center. People who are already experiencing symptoms are still urged to report to their family doctor for an antigen test.

Salzburg: Test at the airport and at the Corona drive-in
The state of Salzburg also initially wanted to consider extending the free tests for the Christmas holidays. However, the government then decided against it in the state parliament. For self-payers, however, there are also options in Salzburg: They can go to Anif, for example, to Pharmgenetix’s Corona drive-in. There, PCR tests are offered for 114 euros after prior registration. The test drive-in is open until December 23.

At Salzburg Airport, the laboratory offers another testing station in the airport building. Pre-registration is currently not necessary there. In addition, in the city and province of Salzburg, it is still possible to take private Corona smears in doctors’ offices – the Medical Association maintains a list of these – and laboratories. A Corona test can also be carried out in pharmacies, where antigen tests are used. The result is available after about 15 minutes.

Burgenland: Private container tests
In Burgenland, there are no plans to offer free testing to the public before Christmas after the mass tests have been completed.

However, there are three private testing containers in the province where people can be tested by both antigen and PCR: In Eisenstadt at the shopping center, in Neusiedl am See and in Oberpullendorf at the main square these possibilities exist. The cost for the antigen test is 40 euros, for the PCR test 110 euros. Testing takes place from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm. Pre-registration online is possible, but not mandatory.

The Red Cross Burgenland also tests for 140 euros in all districts. However, the PCR sample must usually be delivered to the Eisenstadt laboratory itself; in the southern districts, a free messenger service is offered. The swabs for the private tests can be taken from Monday to Friday. For the test, one must contact the Red Cross Covid team responsible for the district by telephone or register online on the Red Cross website.

Styria: test stations and doctors
From December 21 to 23, Styria offers the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19 free of charge in Bruck an der Mur, Liezen, Gleisdorf, Judenburg and Graz (in the exhibition hall). The same opening hours apply at all locations: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 22, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 23.

In Styria, around 350 doctors also currently offer tests for a fee. The list is available on the homepage of the Styrian Medical Association. There you can find the test options under “Ärztinnen- und Ärztesuche”. In addition, there are the test options in pharmacies for a fee.

Carinthia: Tests before Christmas and New Year’s Eve
In Klagenfurt and Villach, free tests are offered before Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Registration is not required. On December 21, 22 and 23, you can get tested in Klagenfurt in the foyer of the exhibition hall, and in Villach in the Congress Center during the same period.

In both cities, this is possible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in each case. There will also be test opportunities in both cities on December 28, 29 and 30 in the test streets there, also from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Upper Austria: In planning
Upper Austria had announced to set up test streets for free antigen tests before Christmas. However, details are still pending. The tests will be offered at “selected locations,” says Governor Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP). Information will be provided in good time. However, there is not much time left. In Upper Austria there is, after all, the possibility – as in all other provinces – to be tested in pharmacies and privately by doctors or in laboratories.

Pharmacy testing throughout Austria
In any case, you can have yourself tested in selected pharmacies throughout Austria using a rapid test. However, a slot must be booked in advance by telephone. The cost of a test at the pharmacy is between 25 and 60 euros. Most pharmacies in the provincial capitals are already fully booked for December 23.

In addition, PCR self-tests are also available in certain pharmacies. With these, you gargle at home and then send the test kit to the laboratory. Such tests are also available in certain drugstores.

Test, but test correctly!
The most important thing to remember is that the test is only a snapshot. So, in the worst case scenario, you could be carrying the virus when tested, but in too low a concentration to be detected. However, it could multiply and infect others. You might not be contagious on Christmas Eve, but you might be on subsequent days.

Despite a negative result, safety precautions should be taken: Keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, ventilate, and if you do, celebrate only in a small circle. Negative results can convey a deceptive sense of security, tempt people to be careless and thus encourage clusters in families. It would therefore be better not to celebrate Christmas with the extended family this year, but in your own household.

Those who want to be tested can do so in two ways. A PCR test – whether by swab or gargle solution – makes sense three to five days before Christmas, if there is no risk of infection afterwards. The procedure detects even small amounts of the virus in the body and thus the risk of infection. The rule is therefore: If you are positive, you must stay at home!

— hp, Source: derstandard.at. picture: pixabay.com

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