Symptoms, suspected infection and monitoring health

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  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19: by vaccinating against the coronavirus we can more back towards the regular order of life. More information on where and how to get vaccinated can be found at the vaktsineeri.ee web page and from the state helpline 1247.

  • Wash your hands: hands should be washed with soap under warm running water, use hand disinfectant, if necessary.

  • Move in a dispersed manner: keep a distance with other people when in crowded indoor spaces. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing. By standing too close to a symptomatic person you can get infected as well.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth: if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, there is a chance that the virus will be transmitted to you.

  • Find help early: if you have a fever, cough or difficulties breathing, find help early. Monitor your health and stay home. Call your family doctor or to the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220.

  • Follow respiratory hygiene: if you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a single use tissue. Throw it into the bin immediately after, and then clean your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (the inside of your elbow), but do not use your bare hand.

  • Wear a mask: it is recommended to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces and in public transport, especially for risk groups. A preference is given to a medical mask or a mask equated to that (e.g. an FFP1-3 mask or a N95 respirator) which effectively stops the coronavirus from spreading.

Last updated: 05.04.2022 14:38

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If you are COVID-19 positive or suspect that you have been infected, stay home if you have any kind of symptoms. Avoid contact with other people, follow hand and respiratory hygiene. If at all possible, have all essentials delivered to you at home contact free. If possible, do a coronavirus test.

If you suspect that you have become ill:

  • If necessary, contact your family doctor. The family doctor will evaluate the need for testing with a referral, give medical advice and will also start a certificate of incapacity for work or a certificate for care leave (the so-called certificate for sick leave). If you are unable to contact your family doctor, call the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220 (+372 634 66 30). The calls are answered by medical professionals 24/7, advice is given in Estonian and Russian (advice in English every day from 15.00 to 17.00).

Foreigners and people who do not have health insurance may contact the nearest family health centre if necessary if they become symptomatic. If there is cause to suspect an upper respiratory virus (fever, dry cough, difficulties breathing), the patients are served regardless of whether they belong to the family doctor's list or not.

Testing

  • Free testing is available for the elderly (age 60+) and people who are in a risk group to their medical condition (e.g. Parkinson's disease, a stroke within the past year, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity, sleep apnoea etc.). See more: www.terviseamet.ee/en/testing-virus.
  • If the family doctor decides that testing is necessary, you will be given a digital referral letter. Make sure that your family doctor has your correct phone number so that the testing centre could contact you in order to book you a testing appointment. The testing call centre is making calls in the order the referrals come in.
  • If you are not in a risk group neither due to your age nor due to a medical condition, and you suspect having the coronavirus, do a rapid test if possible. If you wish to record a positive test result in the health information system, contact your family doctor.
  • If you need an EU COVID recovery certificate that has a QR code, you can go to have a paid test at a service provider suitable to you: koroonatestimine.ee.

If you have COVID-19:

  • If your test result was positive, avoid contacts with other people and stay home for at least five days (presuming that on the last day at least 24 hours have passed since the symptoms disappeared). Follow the recommendations of the family doctor, you can also find advice on how to treat the coronavirus at home from the guidelines of the Health Board (in Estonian). If your health condition worsens suddenly, call 112.
  • Make sure to inform your close contacts. Close contacts are recommended to remain in self-isolation for at least five days and monitor their health. More specific instructions on how to determine close contacts can be found on the web page of the Health Board.

If the results of your corona test were positive but you have no symptoms:

  • Stay home for at least five days. Avoid contacts with other people and follow hand and respiratory hygiene.

Last updated: 01.07.2022 16:59

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A foreign national staying in Estonia can get advice in case of simpler health problems, instructions for first aid and, if necessary, information on health care organisation by calling the family doctor's information line at +372 6346630 (free of charge if the foreign national has a contract with a local telephone operator and a certain amount of call minutes are part of the contract), when in Estonia, calling the helpline 1220 (price per minute 30 cents in Elisa network, 23 cents per call minute in Tele2 network and 22.78 cents per call minute in Telia network). Caller waiting list may be up to 45 minutes.

On the family doctor's information line, family doctors and family nurses provide advice 24/7 hours a day in both Estonian and Russian. Advice in English is offered every day from 3 pm to 5 pm.

In case of symptoms of the coronavirus, foreign nationals staying in Estonia, and persons without health insurance must contact the nearest family doctor centre. If viral diseases of the upper respiratory tract are suspected (fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing), patients are treated whether they are on the patient list of this centre or not - this is an emergency aid that every general physician must provide. The family doctor then decides whether a test for coronavirus is required.

It is also possible to take coronavirus test for a fee, without consulting a family doctor. There are several testing service providers who offer tests for a fee: Confido https://broneerimine.confido.ee/ , Medicum https://www.medicum.ee/ , SYNLAB https://minu.synlab.ee/toode/koroonaviiruse-maaramine , Qvalitas Arstikeskus https://qvalitas.ee/et/ - this is not an exhaustive lists.

Last updated: 16.03.2021 12:41

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The symptoms of the coronavirus and their severity vary greatly. Some people are asymptomatic, some develop severe pneumonia, for people in a risk group the disease might end in death.

For most people infected with the coronavirus, the progression of the disease is mild and they heal.

The virus risk group includes the elderly and people with chronic diseases, who exhibit the severe forms of the disease more frequently.

Last updated: 01.10.2021 16:11

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Studies have shown that an infected person is infectious for several days after becoming symptomatic. So it is necessary to stay in isolation for at least five days (presuming that on the last day at least 24 hours have passed since the symptoms disappeared). Staying in a 5-day isolation is necessary even if the symptoms disappear within a few days. This helps to prevent the spread of the disease.

No repeat test is done to patients who have had the COVID-19 infection and been declared recovered.

If a person has been hospitalised, getting declared recovered depends on his condition. Generally, hospitals recommend staying at home for another two weeks after being released from the hospital. This does not apply to persons who have light symptoms but have still been hospitalised for some reason.

The virus can be detected in a laboratory for even up to 37 days but the patient is not infectious anymore.

All instructions come from the family doctor or the treating physician both when recovering at home and in a hospital. The doctors' recommendations must be followed.

Last updated: 01.07.2022 23:13

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The results of a patient's SARS-CoV-2 PCR analysis can be positive for several weeks after suffering through the coronavirus. That is why it is not necessary to test recovered patients in order to end the isolation: it is important that at least 24 hours have passed since the last symptoms disappeared. If there are doubts, consult your family doctor: a family doctor is a medical expert whose opinion and decision must be accepted.

Last updated: 01.07.2022 23:17

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  • If an employee falls ill outside of work, they must stay at home.

  • If an employee falls ill at work, they must leave immediately.

  • A person who has fallen ill should contact their family doctor, who will decide on the diagnosis of COVID-19, the need for testing and the certificate of incapacity for work.

  • The employee whose COVID-19 test is positive has to stay home for at least five days (even if there are no symptoms). It is allowed to return to work presuming that on the last day at least 24 hours have passed since the symptoms passed.

  • From the perspective of stopping the spread of COVID-19 it is important that the employee who has become ill inform the employer if his COVID-19 diagnosis has been confirmed. Informing the employer takes place according to an agreement between the employee and the employer. In order to stop the further spread of the virus, it is necessary to quickly start establishing the close contacts (see below).

  • In the rooms that have been potentially contaminated with the virus it is necessary to clean the surfaces that are touched more frequently. In favorable conditions the virus can stay on contaminated surfaces for up to three days but is destroyed with wet cleaning and disinfecting (see instructions "The recommendation of the Health Board for cleaning and disinfecting" (in Estonian)).

Close contacts

  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed, people who were together with the infected employee for at least 15 minutes and within two meters, or were in direct close contact with him (shaking hands, getting coughed on etc.) during the period when the symptoms occurred or up to two days before that should be identified at the workplace. If the employee was not symptomatic, his close contacts are considered to be those who were in close contact with him two days before receiving the positive test result. More specific information on how close contacts are determined can be found on the web page of the Health Board.

  • It is recommended that close contacts stay in self-isolation for five days and monitor their health carefully. It is not necessary to adhere to the recommendation to stay at one's place of residence or stay, if the person has:

    • been vaccinated (or equated to a vaccinated person) and has received a booster dose, and no more than a year has passed since the shot;
    • completed the initial course of vaccinations and no more than nine months (270 days) have passed since the last dose;
    • been equated to a vaccinated person (i.e. recovered from the disease and received one dose of the vaccine) and no more than nine months (270 days) have passed since the last shot
    • recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months (180 days)
  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 of an infected employee is not confirmed, the recommendation on avoiding contacts is not implemented for the close contacts.

An employer can find more information from the instructions of the Health Board (in Estonian).

Last updated: 21.09.2022 12:10

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If this kind of a situation has occurred, the place to turn for help is the local municipality.

Last updated: 20.01.2021 15:49

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Currently there is no plan for a solution to prove recovery from COVID-19 with an antibodies test as there is no internationally unified position on the necessary level of antibodies. There is an agreement on the European Union level that a recovery certificate is issued only on the basis of a positive PCR test.

However, a doctor can consider a positive antibodies test as a confirmation of recovery, after which it is possible to vaccinate a person with one dose of the vaccine and then declare the course of vaccination completed (one dose out of one, 1/1). In that case, a person will receive a vaccination certificate to prove their infection risk status.

Last updated: 15.09.2021 11:29

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).