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Lanarkshire workforce testing for Covid-19
Frequently asked questions - Lanarkshire workforce testing
What is regular Covid-19 testing?
There are two main types of tests used to detect Covid-19:
- Rapid Regular Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Tests – these can be used to detect coronavirus in employees who are not displaying symptoms.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Tests – these are used when employees are displaying symptoms or have had a positive LFD test.
Rapid Regular Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Tests can be used by all employees on a regular basis to check if they have coronavirus and need to self-isolate.
Rapid Regular Lateral Flow (LFD) tests
Employees are encouraged to do a rapid test twice a week (every three to four days) to check if they have the virus. If employee’s test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading amongst their colleagues workforce and within communities.
Employees can collect 2 boxes of 7 tests per household or up to four packs of seven tests if collecting for multiple people from a local test site. The location of the test sites and the opening times will be advised to employees through email and other available communication channels such as notice boards. Managers will also be able to advise employees on where the nearest test site is based. Most sites allow for the collection of tests between 3.30pm and 8pm and appointments are not necessary.
Employees can also arrange for a box of seven tests to be sent to their home address.
If an employee is unable to obtain tests at a site or online, they can request them by calling 119. Lines are open from 7 am to 11 pm and calls are free.
How and where do employees do the test?
Employees can either go to a rapid lateral flow testing site to be tested or they can use the testing kits at home.
If an employee chooses to attend a testing site, they should be mindful of the following:
- they may need an appointment, so should check before they attend
- a trained helper might be able to help them do the test
- the employee will get a text or email with the result when it's ready
- If the employee chooses to do the test at home, they should follow the instructions as advised within the testing kit and report the results online or by phone to the following website: www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Find out more information about local testing facilities.
Positive LFD test
Where an LFD test is positive, the employee must commence self-isolation immediately and arrange for a PCR test to be undertaken. The employee must continue to self-isolate, along with the people they live with, until the result of the PCR test is known. If the test is negative, the employee can return to work. If the test is positive, the employee must continue to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. All periods of self-isolation will be recorded as paid leave.
Support for regular testing
Employees should be encouraged and supported to take regular rapid lateral flow testing. Where time is required during the working day to carry out the test, this should be provided taking into consideration any service requirements. Where possible, employees should be encouraged to take the test prior to attending work, however this may mean adjusting their starting or finishing times to accommodate this.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests
Employees who have any of the three main symptoms of coronavirus, must be encouraged to do a PCR test. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
- loss of taste and/or smell
- If an employee has symptoms, he/she and the people they live with must immediately self-isolate. They should not leave home until they have got their test results, except to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment. Time off with pay is applied to those who need to self-isolate for any purpose.
When to get the test done?
Employees need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. This allows the employee the best chance of preventing the spread of COVID-19 to others. After 5 days the employee should still book a test if they have been advised to do so by a healthcare professional.
On days 1 to 4, an employee can get tested at a site or at home. If ordering a home test kit on day 4, it should be done by 3pm.
On day 5, the employee needs to go to a test site as it’s too late to order a home test kit.
Getting a PCR test if an employee has no symptoms
An employee may need to take a PCR test if:
- they have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
- they have been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
- a GP or other health professional has asked them to get a test
- they are taking part in a government pilot project
- they have been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
- they have received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
- they need to get a test for someone they live with who has symptoms
- they are in the National Tactical Response Group
- How to obtain a test
Employees can arrange a PCR test through the following methods:
- use this self help guide: access to testing for coronavirus on NHS Inform to help select the right test
- book a PCR test to check if you have coronavirus on the GOV.UK website
- call 119
- book a priority symptomatic test slot if you are an essential worker through the essential worker portal on gov.uk
- Employees can order a PCR test to be sent to their home or they can book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through test site.
Positive PCR Test Result
If an employee’s PCR test result is positive, they must stay at home and self-isolate for a full 10 days even if they have no symptoms or symptoms disappear during that time. Following the full 10 day isolation period, the employee will be able to return to work. The isolation period includes the day symptoms started (or the day the test was taken if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.
Please note that if an employee’s PCR test is positive, they do not need to test at all (LFD or PCR) for 90 days from the date they became positive.
If an employee has a negative PCR result, the employee can return to work unless they have been identified as a close contact via test and protect. If this is the case, the employee will still require to complete the 10 day self-isolation period.
Travelling to testing centres
If an employee is required to attend a test centre, they should drive themselves, if possible. They must not use public transport or take a taxi.
If they cannot drive, they should arrange for a household member to drive them through the test site. Alternatively, the employee should select to receive a home test kit, details on how to do this are given above.
Employees are encouraged to provide their line managers with details of any positive Covid19 test, as this allows for accurate recording of self-isolation periods and ensures the ongoing protection of colleagues, customers and the vulnerable to whom we provide care and services.
All test results for LFD tests should be recorded on the following website: www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Employees should be encouraged to continue undertaking regular testing even if they have been fully vaccinated. Research has shown that although the vaccination should prevent people from becoming seriously ill, it may not prevent people from having Covid19 or potentially spreading the virus.