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COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test for NCCS Patients & Caregivers/Accompanying Persons

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community, immunocompromised individuals, including cancer patients are particularly at risk. As such, enhanced surveillance measures are needed at NCCS.


Ministry of Health requires all vaccinated and unvaccinated outpatient cancer patients and their caregivers/accompanying persons in the following categories to undergo COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on the day of their appointment:

 ​Required to undergo COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART)
  1. Vaccinated and unvaccinated patients receiving the following treatments/interventions at NCCS lasting more than 30 minutes:

    a) ambulatory intravenous chemotherapy
    b) immunotherapy
    c) any interventions/procedures that require >30 mins duration
    d) radiation treatment/procedures*

    *Only patients undergoing selected radiation treatments or procedures will be required to undergo ART. NCCS healthcare team will advise you accordingly.

  2. Vaccinated and unvaccinated caregivers/accompanying persons for the above mentioned patients in categories 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d.

    Please note: There is no charge for the ART for all NCCS patients (vaccinated and unvaccinated) and vaccinated caregivers/accompanying persons. Unvaccinated accompanying persons will be charged $19 per ART test.

Frequently Asked Questions         

1. Why do some cancer patients and their caregivers/accompanying persons need to undergo COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at NCCS?

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community, immunocompromised individuals, including cancer patients are particularly at risk.       

There is a need to quickly detect any positive cases for treatment and protect other NCCS patients from the risk of infection. Therefore patients and caregivers who come to NCCS for treatment/interventions/procedures lasting longer than 30 minutes will need to do the on-site COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test.

2. I have been fully vaccinated. Do I need to undergo the ART testing?

Yes. All vaccinated and unvaccinated outpatient cancer patients receiving ambulatory intravenous chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation treatment* and any interventions/procedures lasting more than 30 minutes, and their caregivers/accompanying persons must undergo ART testing on the day of their outpatient visit.

3. I received a negative ART result from the test conducted at NCCS today. I have another consultation at NCCS tomorrow. Do I have to take the ART test again?

Your negative result will be considered valid for 72 hours (or 3 days) and the result would be captured in the system on Day 1 of your outpatient visit.

4. What happens if I receive a positive ART result from the surveillance testing at NCCS?

If you receive a positive ART result, you will be ushered to an isolation room where a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Swab Test will be administered to confirm the positive test result. The healthcare team will assess and determine the next steps.

5. If I test positive for COVID-19, will my cancer treatment be delayed/affected?

If you test positive for COVID-19 through both the ART and PCR tests at NCCS, the healthcare team will assess and determine the next steps.

Depending on the patient’s health status, their cancer treatment may be affected or delayed, while they receive treatment for COVID-19.

6. What happens if I receive an invalid ART result from the surveillance testing at NCCS?

If you receive an invalid ART result, a second ART test will be administered. If the second ART test also produces an invalid result, you will be ushered to an isolation room, where a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Swab Test will be administered. If you test positive for COVID-19 through both the ART and PCR tests at NCCS, the healthcare team will assess and determine the next steps.

7. Do I have to pay for the ART test conducted at NCCS?

There is no charge for NCCS patients (vaccinated and unvaccinated) and vaccinated caregivers/accompanying persons. Unvaccinated caregivers/accompanying persons, will be charged $19 per ART test.

8. I am a Nasopharyngeal Cancer / Head & Neck Cancer patient and am concerned about being swabbed. Do I have to undergo the ART test?

Yes, all vaccinated and unvaccinated outpatient cancer patients receiving ambulatory intravenous chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation treatment* and any interventions/procedures lasting more than 30 minutes, and their caregivers/accompanying persons must undergo ART testing on the day of their outpatient visit. This includes patients with head and neck cancer. Trained healthcare personnel will administer the ART test at NCCS.

9. What time should I get to NCCS to take the ART test before my scheduled appointment for treatment? 

Please arrive at NCCS at least 30 mins before the scheduled appointment to allow enough time for the ART to be administered before proceeding for treatment.

 

*Only patients undergoing selected radiation treatments or procedures will be required to undergo ART. NCCS healthcare team will advise you accordingly.