Taking a lateral flow test regularly has become the norm for many of us. But, reporting the results can be a bit time-consuming, as well as difficult, if you are a bit of a technophobe.
However, even if your results are negative, itâ€™s vital to report your test results after taking a home COVID-19 test. Read on for just some of the reasons why this is so important and some tips on reporting your results if you are unsure how.
Helps Monitor the Levels of COVID-19 in the Community
Whether or not you decide to go for a PCR test to confirm your positive result, reporting your home test result will help the local government to monitor how many cases there are in the area.
Even negative test results can help governments and local authorities monitor the number of cases in your region. Negative results show that people are testing, and the more results received, the clearer the picture of the current situation regarding case numbers.
Sometimes, PCR centres can be busy, but by reporting your lateral flow test results on the same day as you took the test, you will help ensure daily reports of case numbers are accurate and up-to-date.
Protects Other People
After reporting a positive result, everyone you have been around since becoming infectious will be notified. Donâ€™t worry - this is anonymous, so they wonâ€™t know it is you whoâ€™s infected. So, by reporting your positive test result, those you have been with can be informed as soon as possible.
This means that they can start self-isolating sooner and therefore slow down the spread of the virus by protecting those that they may have been in contact with, too.
Similarly, if you gave your details when visiting a restaurant or other public place, this data can be used to contact others who were there at the same time as you. So, you donâ€™t just protect your friends and family when reporting a COVID-19 test result; you also help protect the wider community.
If cases are high, steps can be taken to help protect those who are more susceptible to the virus. This could mean limiting the number of visitors allowed in hospitals and care homes to keep these more vulnerable groups safe.
By reporting your test, you will be advised on what steps to take next in order to keep everyone safe. Youâ€™ll be told if you and the other members of your household need to self-isolate and for how long.
Reduce the Spread of the Virus
Reporting your lateral flow test results helps scientists and local governments track local outbreaks of COVID-19. This allows appropriate measures to be taken - like limiting the number of people that can attend gatherings or introducing social distancing measures in public places.
By reporting your test results, you will help authorities paint an accurate picture of the current situation in your area. By taking appropriate action, the spread of the virus should be limited, and restrictions eased as soon as possible when the situation improves.
Results are Quicker Than PCR Tests
Lateral flow tests give almost instant results, whereas it can take several days to receive the results of a PCR test. So, by reporting your results straight away, you can start protecting others more quickly, as well as ensuring local data regarding case numbers is as accurate as possible.
Added to this, there are sometimes issues with the daily reporting of PCR test results. Test centres can be very busy, and itâ€™s only natural that mix-ups can happen from time to time. Furthermore, some people may struggle to get a PCR test, for example, if they canâ€™t get to the test centre, or tests arenâ€™t being offered to those without symptoms.
So, itâ€™s crucial to report a lateral flow test result to play your part in controlling the spread of the virus.
How to Report a Lateral Flow Test Result
How to report your test results will vary depending on where you live - a quick search online should give you detailed instructions on how to do this. Test results are generally reported online, but you might also be able to do it over the phone if you prefer.
You might have to input some personal details initially, but once you have made an account, it will usually be quicker and easier to report future test results. Youâ€™ll need to use your smartphone camera to scan the test stripâ€™s QR code before selecting whether the result was positive, negative, or invalid/void.