Public pathologists call for PCR testing to be limited to hospital and healthcare workers, vulnerable groups

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Public Pathology Australia president and microbiologist Petra Derrington told ABC Radio Brisbane the high positivity rate reported in tests, and Omicron's rapid spread, meant using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for symptomatic close contacts was no longer practical.

"If you're a close contact of someone known to have COVID, and you develop symptoms, I think we're at a stage where we can safely assume that's COVID and get that patient to remain at home in isolation for a further week until they feel asymptomatic," Dr Derrington said.

"I do believe many practitioners, and certainly the pathologists in Public Pathology Australia, believe that it is time now to really focus on high-risk groups."

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