Lateral Flow Testing: Isolation, Results, Faded Lines and the Rules You Need to Follow

New testing rules across the UK mean that if you get a positive lateral flow test, you do not need a PCR test, as long as you do not have any COVID symptoms. This makes accurate LFTs more important than ever – you can read the new rules here.

Taking a lateral flow test seems straightforward: a line next to the ‘C’ on the test means the test worked, the C stands for ‘control’, while a line next to the ‘T’ (test) is positive. Indicates Covid reading and you need to self-isolate.

But sometimes you may feel unsure about the results of a lateral flow test or what to do based on the result. Testing at home has reached record levels in recent weeks, with nearly two million tests being conducted a day in January alone. So here we have clarified some of the issues that may cause some confusion.

Should I report lateral flow results?

The public is instructed to report each result, whether positive or negative, from the lateral flow test.

This helps scientists and governments gain a better understanding of the spread of the virus across the country. If only positive results are recorded, the level of Covid-19 cases will look worse than it actually is. Scientists also use the information to identify patterns and outbreaks more quickly and accurately.

Guidance on the Welsh Government website says that you need to report the result:

  • each time you use the Rapid Lateral Flow Test Kit
  • as soon as possible after getting the result

If you are taking the daily rapid lateral flow test because you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should report your results every day.

When does self-isolation end if you test positive?

So, first of all, if you test positive with a lateral flow test, you need to self-isolate. But self-isolation advice for people with Covid-19 has changed. After two negative LFTs that were 24 hours apart, it is now possible to end self-isolation after seven days. The first LFT should be taken no earlier than the sixth day.

What are the other test and isolation rules?

Here are the main principles of test and isolation:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. You should arrange to have a PCR test done at the earliest. If this PCR test result is positive, you should continue to self-isolate.
  • If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms but you have a positive PCR test result, you should stay at home and self-isolate.
  • If you are 18 years, six months or older and have not been fully vaccinated, and you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you are legally required to stay home and self-isolate. the wanted.
  • If you are fully vaccinated or are under the age of 18 and six months, and you live in the same household as someone who has COVID-19, you are not legally required to self-isolate. However, you are strongly advised to take one LFT every day for seven days, and to self-isolate if any of these test results are positive.

What does a blurred line mean on my lateral flow test?

After following the instructions on the leaflet included with the test pack, there is often a clear result. A line next to the ‘C’ on the test simply means that the test has worked, with the C standing for ‘control’, while a line next to the ‘T’ (test) indicates a positive COVID reading. Is.

A&E Doc has issued some guidance to help people understand that a faint line may mean. Go here to learn how to get a lateral flow test where you live. Dr. Nathan Hudson-Peacock took to his Instagram page to explain. He said each test kit will have an interpretation window, usually 30 minutes, but you can check the leaflet that comes with the kit to be sure. You must check your result within this time period to make sure that it is accurate.

Dr. Hudson-Peacock said: “You do a lateral flow test (LFT, aka Rapid Antigen Test), and it shows a very weak line next to the T. What does this mean? Note: of the LFT result Regardless, if you are symptomatic, you should isolate and book a PCR.”

Doctor’s own LFT test, T. showing a very faint line next to

“Essentially, if *any* line appears before the end of the interpretation window (check leaflet, often it’s 30 minutes), it’s a *positive* test and you need to isolate. Picture above today I have positive LFT since morning, and I have been confirmed Covid.

“However, if a line appears *after the Interpretation Window* it does not count as a positive test. The NHS guidance is that you do not need to isolate and you do not need to book a PCR Unless of course you have symptoms.”

General picture of lateral flow test
A lateral flow test showing a light red line next to the T, indicating a positive result

“The next question is: Does a blurry line after the interpretation window make sense? Note: The following are just my own thoughts. If a blurry line appears after the window, the most likely cause is that some contamination has occurred (eg for) food or drink, or some other weak contaminant), or have very low levels of the virus. If it is the latter, and clearly assuming that you are asymptomatic at this point, you are likely to be at transmission risk Not there.

“Therefore, although the NHS advice is no different (bad for mental health and work etc) and not to book a PCR (makes it harder for people to get it), I suggest a sensitive approach with precautions extra careful have to stay (social distancing, wash hands and wear a mask), and to continue testing with LFTs in accordance with NHS guidance, Doing another LFT before mingling with people especially indoors , Of course, if you develop symptoms, you have to isolate.”

The doctors emphasize that the NHS guidance is:

• Close contacts of COVID cases should undergo daily Lateral Flow Test (LFT) for seven days if both asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, or asymptomatic and 18 or less

• If there is no close contact, you should do LFTs before meeting people indoors and before meeting anyone who is at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID.

He continued: “Finally, please remember, if you have symptoms, you should isolate and book a PCR even with a negative LFT.”

Official NHS advice to staff says: “Leave your test for full development time to get accurate results. Do not read your results for more than 30 minutes. If test equipment is left to develop for long enough You could get a false positive result and you need to repeat the test.”

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How do you report your results?

You cannot report the result after more than 24 hours. You can only report one result at a time. Go Here To report your result. To use this service, you need:

  • The QR code or ID number printed on the test strip (the part of the kit that displays your result)
  • A mobile phone number so that we can text you to confirm that we have received your result

If you cannot access the online service, call 119 (free from mobile and landlines). The lines are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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