A round-up of the new COVID guidelines
It was announced on Wednesday that PCR tests are no longer required, in every case, to confirm a positive Lateral Flow test.
PCR tests are required if:
- You develop symptoms (e.g., a new continuous cough, fever, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) and have not already received a positive Lateral Flow test.
- You fall into the extremely clinically vulnerable category
- An isolation grant is required
From today, if you test positive on a Lateral Flow test and do not fall into any of the above, you should immediately begin isolating and record your result online. The instructions for this process are included in your test kit but as a reminder, you should log them at https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result.
If you do not have access to the internet, you can call the Covid Testing Centre on 0300 303 9545 who will be able to assist you with this process.
It’s vital all test results are recorded and in particular, positive test results. Once your result is recorded, you will be contacted by text message or email providing you with information on the next steps to take and a link to the form to provide details of your contacts. Please complete the form as fully as possible. It is important that you provide details on any high-risk settings you may have attended, for example health or social care premises. Following submission of the form you may be contacted by Test & Protect if further information is required.
Isolation guidance can be found here https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-individuals-with-possible-coronavirus-infection.
Lateral Flow tests can be collected locally from community pharmacies or ordered online via https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
As a reminder, if you require a PCR test you do not need to call, you can simply arrive at the drive through testing centre (old Macmillan unit at the old Balfour). If you do not drive, please call 0300 303 9545 for further assistance. The timetable for the testing centre can be found via https://www.ohb.scot.nhs.uk/news/community-testing-service-update-procedure-15-november-2021.
- Test yourself regularly using LFT kits (these can be collected locally or ordered online)
- Log each LFT result (https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result)
- If you receive a positive LFT result, immediately self-isolate, once you have logged the result you will be contacted with the next steps
- For anyone who lives with you:
- If they are fully vaccinated (i.e., primary course and booster or 3 doses and booster if immunosuppressed) they do not need to isolate (unless they have symptoms) but must undertake daily LFT tests for 7 days. After 7 consecutive days of negative test results, they can stop the daily tests.
- If they are not fully vaccinated, they must isolate for 10 days and seek a PCR test.
Q. I am showing symptoms of Covid, do I need a LFT or PCR test?
A. If you have not been tested and begin to show symptoms, you should seek a PCR test and begin isolating. However, if you have undertaken an LFT and it was positive, then you develop symptoms you do not need a confirmatory PCR.
Q. I am positive on LFT and fully vaccinated, when can I leave isolation?
A. If you have no symptoms and no fever, you can test yourself using LFT on Day 6, if negative you can retest 24hrs later and if still negative, you can end isolation. However, you should limit your contact with those out with your household and with vulnerable individuals wherever possible until the full 10 day isolation period has passed. Further details can be found here https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-individuals-with-possible-coronavirus-infection.
As a reminder, this new guidance has came into force on, Thursday, January 6. If you were told to self-isolate before January 6, please continue to follow the advice you were given at that time.