Lateral Flow Device Covid-19 Testing
The government have made Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) more available. These enable rapid COVID-19 testing for adults in households with school and college aged children. These LFD tests are meant to identify adults in the community who may have the virus but have no symptoms. Identifying these people will help limit transmission across the country. These test kits can be collected or ordered online and we know that many of you will have picked up some of these kits. This means that there are many kits in households and it is really important to remind families when these should and should not be used.
It is essential to remember these tests are used to test adults without symptoms, twice a week. These LFD tests are not for primary age pupils under any circumstances.
Adults who have accessed these kits should test themselves twice weekly and report each result online within 24 hours. If an adult without symptoms tests positive with one of these LFD Tests then the whole household must isolate and they must book a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. These tests are more accurate but take a little longer to process as they processed by a lab. If that PCR test is also positive, then the whole household must isolate for 10 days from the date of the LFD test.
These LFD tests are not for adults or primary age children who have symptoms. If anyone in your house has symptoms of Covid-19 then the whole household must start isolating and the person with symptoms must book a PCR test. If this PCR test is positive, then the whole household must isolate for 10 days from the first day that symptoms were displayed. If it is negative then the whole household can stop isolating.
Please note that if your child is isolating because they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case in their school, they should not have a PCR test unless they develop Covid symptoms. Tests cannot be used to end the isolation period of close contacts earlier than the date advised by the school.
Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR Test)
• These tests are for people who have Covid symptoms
• These tests have the highest validity and are processed in a laboratory.
• Anyone with symptoms must arrange for a PCR Test and the whole household must isolate.
• Children can return to school after a negative PCR Test.
• If there is a positive PCR Test, the whole household must continue to isolate for up to 10 days and school bubbles may close.
A flow chart to help explain this is below.