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Covid home test kits for Kent Adult Education learners

Dear Learner,

Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this at the centre by carrying out tests at home twice every week, 3-4 days apart.

The Government recently announced that all secondary and college aged students will be offered tests on their return to education. Read the Government's advice here.

Testing learners at home

Many learners will adapt to testing becoming part of their routine, others will find it more challenging. Taking part in testing is voluntary and all learners will be able to attend the centre whether they take part or not. We hope that the option to take the test in the morning or evening before attending the centre will support families to test at home.

Learners will be able to collect their home test kits from the 26th April. Please check centre opening times.

Tests are free of charge. You will receive a pack of 7 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.

Make sure you have enough time to do the test before going to the centre. Preferably this would be in the morning before going into the centre. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before if needed. You need to report the test results.

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test.

Taking the test

You should take the test twice a week, before coming in or the night before. A leaflet giving instructions on how to do the test will be given with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms you should self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.

What should you do after the LFD test?

If anyone tests positive you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days.

You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and your centre by emailing CLSLearnerSupport@kent.gov.uk you will then be sent the link to a reporting form.

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test.

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.

Negative and void results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace.

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands and observing social distancing.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing.

Why testing is important

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all learners will be able to attend the centre whether they take part in testing or not.

I am strongly encouraging all learners to take part.

Please contact Antoinette Gilbert, CLSLearnerSupport@Kent.gov.uk,  our COVID Coordinator, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Thank you for your support.

Terry Burgess.

Head of Service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to give consent?

Learners do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice (available on request).

Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace.

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and email CLSLearnerSupport@kent.gov.uk.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

What does it mean if I have a positive result?

If you have a positive antigen LFD test result you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and the centre by emailing clslearnersupport@kent.gov.uk

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test.

You can book a test here.

What does it mean if I have a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

What if I have a void result?

If the result of the test is unclear (void), they should do another one. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test. You can book a test here.

All test results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace.

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test here.

How do I report the result?

Once you have taken the test, you will need to report the result online using this service. You also need to tell the centre the test result if positive. You will receive a text or email from NHS Test & Trace confirming that you have reported your test result.

All test results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from the centre?

No, however everyone will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site or check your local council website)
  • collect tests to do at home. Find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

What if I cannot tolerate a swab down my throat, perhaps due to my disability?

You may find it difficult to take a throat swab, in such cases, where a combined nose and throat swab is not possible, a nose swab from both nostrils can be taken. Similarly, if a nasal swab is not feasible, a throat swab alone will suffice.

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When you take an LFD test, you need to report the result of their tests online, or by phone. This is so that your test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about yourself.

You need to tell NHS Test & Trace:

  • your name
  • your test result
  • the reference number on the test kit

You will also need to tell the centre if you have a positive test result.

Under UK law, KAE can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

KAE will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice which is available on request.