LFD Covid Testing
Lateral Flow Device Covid Testing At Home
Anything that helps identify asymptomatic cases of Covid is good news. However, one of the reasons why their use in schools has been controversial is that they are not very accurate and people have a false sense of security if they get a negative result sometimes leading to them behaving in a less Covid safe way. However, provided you still behave and act as if you have Covid, it's an extra level of safety which is to be welcomed.
What Are They For?
The purpose is to detect some asymptomatic Covid cases which would otherwise go undetected preventing further infections. If you have symptoms you must not use these tests. You book a PCR test as before:
If you DO NOT have symptoms you can take the LFD (Lateral Flow Device) test twice a week as an additional reassurance. As I said above, you still act as if you have Covid even if you test negative because the test only finds about 50% of the asymptomatic cases - if it is administered correctly and most of us struggle to do that!
False positives are rare so if you test positive, your whole household isolates and you book a confirmation PCR test.
Information from Government
Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff
Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus (COVID-19) do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is important to help stop the virus spreading. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we all need to play our part to help protect each other.
On Sunday 28 February, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that from Monday 1 March, households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March. Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders. The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed:
· via employers if they offer testing to employees
· at a local test site
· by collecting a home test kit from a test site
· by ordering a home test kit online
Schools should not give test kits to parents, carers or household members and should not order more test kits for this purpose. Letters containing advice on where to access testing will be made available for schools to share with parents and staff shortly.
This guidance provides information on who can be tested and how you can get a test.