Lateral Flow Testing
The Lateral Flow Test is a swab antigen test that does not require a laboratory for processing and can turnaround results within half an hour. The test works extremely well in finding cases with high viral load (those who are most infectious) who may not show signs of active infection, and who may unwittingly transmit the disease to colleagues, customers, family and friends.
We are currently testing many thousands of school pupils several times a week with LFT, and this is successful in finding asymptomatic people.
Lateral Flow Tests are now available to ANYONE who wishes to take one, and who DOES NOT have symptoms of coronavirus. (if you have symptoms you should book a PCR test in the usual way). About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. If lots of people participate in the Lateral Flow testing programme, this will really help us to stop the spread of the virus as people who test positive can self-isolate.
There are now 34 pharmacies in the community in Calderdale from whom you can pick up lateral flow tests (no need to ring up to arrange). You will be able to pick up two boxes of 7 tests per person at any one time (a 7 week supply with the recommended 2 tests per week). The website here has a map that you can zoom in on your area: Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)
Alternatively, you can order them at the government website to be sent to your home.
Helpful video by the NHS on how to take a Lateral Flow Test: How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test) – YouTube
It is worth pointing out that although the test works well in finding positive cases, a negative result is not a reliable indicator that you do not have the virus, and you will therefore still need to abide by all regulations and guidance.
If you are an organisation you may be able to arrange access to a number of tests that you can distribute to your staff and volunteers. Please contact LFTSupport@calderdale.gov.uk for more information on this.
If after taking a Lateral Flow Test a positive result is shown you are advised to get a PCR test within two days. If this is negative, you will no longer be require to isolate.
Guidance on support Calderdale Council may be able to offer you to self-isolate can be found HERE.
It is worth noting that there is no maximum income level to qualify for the Calderdale discretionary support to self-isolate. If you can prove that you will suffer financial hardship it is worth making an application.