Coronavirus record: One person has tested negative 32 times

Coronavirus test kit.
Coronavirus test kit. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

There are several people in Estonia who have been tested multiple times for coronavirus - in some cases more than 30 times - since COVID-19 testing started a year ago.

ERR's Estonian portal asked the Health and Welfare Information Systems Center (TEHIK) for an overview of the people who have taken the most tests since February 2020.

The graph below - each bar representing one person - shows the 20 people who have been tested the most. Five people have been tested 30 or more times and all with a negative test result and one person has been tested 32 times.

These multiple testers could be taking part in longterm monitoring studies or may have been unlucky and exposed multiple times to outbreaks.

A spokesperson for the Health Board told ERR News: "Some people have given multiple negative tests because they need to travel for work. When traveling, people may have to take one COVID-19 test before going abroad and two when coming back. Some people need to test because of their job, where there are routine testings regularly."

Additionally, one person - not shown on the graph - has tested positive 10 times. 

Hanna Sepp, head of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the Health Board, told ERR this is possible because there are often remnants of the virus left in a person's body when they are no longer infectious, which still gives them a positive test result.

She said there are only a few people in Estonia who have been infected with coronavirus more than once as immunity lasts for at least six months after contracting the disease.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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