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Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Testing for Covid-19

Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Testing for Covid-19

Governments of different countries are now approving home testing kits for Covid-19. Rapid testing is necessary as the virus is spreading. Many people with Covid-19 have moderate or even no symptoms but can still spread the virus. With the standard coronavirus home test kit, you can slow the spread and help protect the most vulnerable in your families and communities. The Department of Health and Social Care suggest that the Covid-19 self-test is a swab test to check for transmissible corona virus.

This test kit is suitable for the following people:

  • Adult aged 18+: self-test and report, with assistance if required.
  • Teenagers aged 12 to 17:  teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 can self-test, reporting with adult guidance. The adult may conduct the test if necessary. 
  • Children under the age of 12: it is suggested that an adult conduct the test for children under the age of 12. Do not continue this test if you are not feeling confident enough. Also, don’t continue the test if the child experiences any pain.

What do you need to do for self-testing?

It is crucial for you to read, understand the instructions and follow the steps in the correct order. 

Guide to Self-Testing for Covid-19.jpg
  • Check your test kit equipment: at least 30 minutes before starting, do not drink or eat anything because it might spoil your test. Read the instructions carefully and see how to perform the swab test by watching an online video. Properly check the contents of the test kit to ensure every piece of equipment is in intact. If you notice anything broken, missing or damaged, do not use the kit. 
  • Set up your test: take out the test strip from the sealed packaging and place it onto a clean, flat surface. Once you have removed the seal from the test strip, begin the test within 30 minutes. Carefully open the sachet away from your face and avoid spilling any of the liquid. Then open the extraction tube and gently remove all of the liquid from the sachet into the tube. Put the filled tube in the extraction tube holder to avoid spilling the liquid. 
  • Lightly blow your nose into a tissue and put it away in a closed bin.
  • Get the swab in the sealed wrapper in front of you showing the soft fabric tip of the swab.
  • Open the swab sachet only when you are ready to use it and smoothly take out the swab. You can use this for both throat and nose.
  • Take your swab sample: do not touch your teeth, tongue, cheek or any other surface with the fabric tip of the swab because it will spoil your test. 
  • Start the test by holding the swab between your fingers, open your mouth and brush the fabric tip of the swab on both tonsils. Repeat this with gentle contact four times on each side. 
  • Put the same swab into the first nostril until you feel a small resistance. Roll the swab lightly inside the nostril, making ten complete circles.  

Prepare the swab sample: Pick up the extraction tube and put the fabric tip of the swab into the extraction tube and into the liquid.

  • Transfer your sample into the liquid by pressing the tip on the edge of the extraction tube with force while twisting it around the extraction tube for 15 seconds.
  • Hold the cap of the extraction tube tightly to ensure there is no leakage.
  • Squeeze the extraction tube against the swab as you remove it, squeezing out all the liquid from the soft tip of the swab.
  • Firmly squeeze the extraction tube and pour two drops of the liquid onto the specimen well on the test strip. 
  • Check the time and wait for 30 minutes before you read your result. 

A positive result will show up any time after 20 minutes. You have to wait 30 minutes to record a negative result as the test line may take longer to appear. 

  • Read your result: After some time, you will notice the control lines begin to appear. Wait for 30 minutes before your result is ready.
  • Negative result: If one line next to C on the test strip is visible, it means the test is negative.
  • Positive result: If there are two lines, one next to C and one next to T, even faint lines, it means the test is positive. You must report this test result. 
  • Void result: If there are no lines or one line next to T appears, it means the test is void.

Do not leave the test for more than 30 minutes to develop as this will make the test void. 

  • Report your result: Report your result to NHS so they can monitor the spread of the virus, help communities across the UK, fight the virus and save lives. You need the QR code or the ID number under the testing strip to report your result. 

What your result means ?

  • Positive result: if you got a positive result, you are currently infected with Covid-19 and can spread the virus. When you report your positive result, you will be provided with further information on what step to take next.  
  • Negative result: if you get a negative result, it means you are not infected with the virus when you performed the test. If you test negative, you must follow social distancing and other national guidelines for coronavirus
  • Void result: if you get a void result, it means that you have not taken the right steps and you need to take another test. Use a new test kit to perform the test again. 
  • Safely dispose of your test kit after use: once you have completed your test, put all the used test kit equipment in the waste bag provided and throw it in your general household waste. 

The essential thing to keep in mind with home testing kit is to perform the steps carefully and take the proper precautions to avoid getting a void result.  If you get a positive result, you must inform the NHS about it. 

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