COVID-19 Lateral Flow testing FAQ

COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing FAQs

Arrangements are currently being made to enable returning students to be tested for COVID-19 using lateral flow testing in line with Government guidance.  An 'all student' email will be sent out early in the New Year with guidance on how you can take a lateral flow test.  Please check your student email in January for this information.

What is the lateral flow test?

How is it different from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test?

Are tests compulsory?

What if I have some symptoms before testing?

How close together should testing be done?

What should I do whilst I wait for the second test?

Who do I inform if I need to self-isolate?

What about students travelling in from international or European countries?

What is the lateral flow test? 

Lateral flow devices (LFDs) are one of the new tools being used to help us to detect and fight COVID-19.  A lateral flow test is a swab test is a self-administered test that can detect the presence of the COVID-19 viral antigen. The test involves applying a swab to the throat and nose. Results can be seen in less than an hour and the test does not require a lab to determine the results. These tests are for people who do not have any symptoms. 

Source: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/08/lateral-flow-testing-new-rapid-tests-to-detect-covid-19/ 11/12/2020 

How is it different from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test? 

Lateral flow testing will not replace the PCR tests. If you are symptomatic, you should contact 111 for advice, or 119 to book a PCR test. This test is more sensitive and able to detect allergens on a molecular level. You should only have this test if you experience any symptoms. To arrange a PCR test, please contact NHS 111 or 119, or visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test  

Are tests compulsory? 

Participation is voluntary but the Government will encourage all students to take two lateral flow tests- three days apart- before attending any face-to-face teaching and learning sessions (this included attending any placements).  If, in the last 90 days, you had a positive COVID-19 PCR test through the NHS Test and Trace and your result is recorded on the national system, you will not need to take another test again. 

What if I have some symptoms before testing? 

If you experience any of the symptoms below, you should contact 111 for advice as you may have to arrange to get a PCR test as soon as possible.  

  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not have to measure your temperature) 

  • A new, continuous cough – you are coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episode in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) 

  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal 

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 11/12/2020 

If you have symptoms, please do not arrange to have a lateral flow test. 

How close together should testing be done? 

The Government will encourage all students to take two lateral flow tests- three days apart- before attending any face-to-face teaching and learning sessions (this included attending any placements). 

What should I do whilst I wait for the second test? 

If your first test was a negative result, then you need to wait to complete the second test. You will not be asked to self-isolate but you should adhere to the current social distancing guidance and consider restricting your social interaction with others whilst you await your second result.  

If your first test is positive, please arrange to have a PCR test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 

Who do I inform if I need to self-isolate?  

Please remember to let the Covid Report and Support team know your result by contacting them via covidreport@chi.ac.uk.  

You should also ensure your Academic Advisor and Department Administrator is aware that you will need to self-isolate so they can ensure you are supported academically.  

What about students travelling in from international or European countries? 

There is specific advice for students travelling from international countries. Please refer to the current guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk or https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#travel-corridor-exemption-rules or contact our International Advisors: international@chi.ac.uk for further advice.  

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