Coronavirus tests at Mehiläinen
Mehiläinen wants to help Finland get through the coronavirus epidemic. We conduct tests in line with the instructions issued by the authorities. Sampling at our drive-in testing stations began on Monday, 16 March 2020.
- Information about the coronavirus test
- How is a sample for the coronavirus test taken?
- Results of the coronavirus test
- Price of a coronavirus test
- Instructions for those arriving for coronavirus testing
- Drive-in testing stations – Where to go for coronavirus testing?
Information about the coronavirus test
Coronavirus tests can be done either by determining the presence of the virus’s genetic material on the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx (PCR), the presence of viral surface protein with an antigen test or the presence of coronavirus antibodies in the body.
The PCR sample is tested for the nucleic acid of the virus or, in other words, certain genetic material of the virus is identified to determine whether the virus is present in the sample. The PCR test is slightly more sensitive, which means that it is suitable for testing people who have symptoms as well as people with no symptoms.
The antigen test detects the virus’s surface protein and is best suited for testing patients with symptoms when the symptoms have lasted for less than five days and getting the results quickly is very important.
The antigen test is currently offered by the drive-in testing station at Turku Fair Center and the drive-in testing station at Tampere (links in Finnish). The antigen test will also be offered at the drive-in stations in Oulu from week 38.
Coronavirus testing always requires a referral. You can get a referral for a PCR test from, for example, Mehiläinen’s Digital Clinic. You can get a referral for an antigen test from testing stations that offer antigen testing if the antigen test is a suitable testing method for you and getting the results quickly is important. If the PCR test is considered more suitable, you can also get a referral for it at a Suora station and the sample will be taken during the same visit.
How is a sample for the coronavirus test taken?
The coronavirus test typically involves taking a sample from the patient’s nasopharynx with a flexible cotton swab. A large amount of the virus is present on the mucous membranes, particularly in the early stages of the disease. Samples for the PCR and antigen tests are taken in the same way.
Results of the coronavirus test
A positive result is a highly reliable indicator of infection. However, a negative result does not completely rule out the possibility of infection as the presence of the virus on the mucous membranes varies greatly between individuals and, in addition, the success of the sample collection and the laboratory analysis may influence the result.
The PCR test is more sensitive, but getting the results takes longer. PCR test results will be ready in 1–3 days. You can get a PCR test in 6 hours on average at the following Express stations: Helsinki Hernesaari Express and Helsinki Messukeskus Express. The results of the antigen test can, at best, be ready in just a few hours, but the test is less sensitive than the PCR test.
Your test results will be available in OmaMehiläinen as soon as they are ready. Test results will usually be ready in 1–3 days from the time the sample was taken, also at weekends. If the results are for a minor, please make sure that you have added them to your family profile in OmaMehiläinen so that you can see the results.
Check the instructions for adding family members to the family profile
If the result is positive, you will be sent a digital survey in OmaMehiläinen for tracking any possible chains of infection. Our health care professionals will also call you to go over the instructions for home quarantine and the information about potential chains of infection and exposure to be submitted to the physician in charge of communicable diseases in your place of residence for the purpose of issuing statements and decisions. This information is very important for controlling the spread of the epidemic in Finland.
We will report positive test results either to the administrative body of your place of residence or the hospital district in compliance with regional practices. The investigation of contact tracing will also comply with regional practices, which means that a representative of Mehiläinen, your home municipality or the hospital district will manage it on a case-by-case basis.
Price of a coronavirus test
- The price of a PCR test is EUR 249 (EUR 193 with the Kela reimbursement).
- The price of an antigen test is EUR 249 (EUR 213 with the Kela reimbursement).
- Coronavirus tests are only available with a doctor’s referral. You can get a referral from, for example, Mehiläinen’s Digital Clinic. The price of a Digital Clinic appointment is EUR 39.90 (EUR 31.90 with the Kela reimbursement).
- At Suora testing stations you can also get a referral. In this case, the customer is interviewed, the need for testing is assessed and a referral for the test is made if needed. The price of the assessment and referral is EUR 39.90 (EUR 31.90 with the Kela reimbursement).
- If the result is positive, we will call the tested customer to give them instructions about further treatment and quarantine. The price of the further treatment consultation is EUR 38.
Instructions for those arriving for coronavirus testing
If you have any symptoms that indicate the possibility of a coronavirus infection, use the Digital Clinic chat “Suspected coronavirus infection” in the OmaMehiläinen service. The price of a Digital Clinic appointment is EUR 39.90 (EUR 31.90 with the Kela reimbursement).
A Digital Clinic doctor will assess your symptoms and issue a referral to a coronavirus test, if necessary. Referrals are issued according to the criteria determined by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. In practice, it is possible to take a sample for a COVID-19 analysis from all patients who experience symptoms associated with a coronavirus infection or who are suspected of having been exposed to a coronavirus infection on the basis of a doctor’s assessment.
In addition to the Digital Clinic service, it is possible to take tests at respiratory tract infection clinics according to a doctor’s discretion and the testing criteria.
If you have been issued with a referral to a coronavirus test and you are visiting a drive-in testing station by car, please stay inside your car while the sample is being taken. Remember the safety distance and follow all instructions given at the testing station. You will not need to leave your car at all, even for the sampling.
Please check the location of your nearest sampling station before arriving for testing. Please note that our testing stations can be busy at times and you may have to wait for your turn.
Drive-in testing stations – Where to go for coronavirus testing
Mehiläinen performs coronavirus testing at drive-in testing stations throughout Finland. Find the drive-in testing station closest to you and check its opening hours.
You can also see the number of respiratory tract infection diagnoses and suspected coronavirus cases at Mehiläinen in real time online. This view and monitoring data is available to everyone at korona.mehilainen.fi.
Page last updated: 11 Sep 2020.