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There are currently two types of tests which detect Covid, Lateral Flow Devices/Tests (LFDs/LFTs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction tests (PCRs). In general, LFDs are less sensitive but provide quick results, whereas PCRs are more sensitive but require a qualified lab to process the testing swabs. Please see below for explanations of when and what test you should take at a given time. All test results from either a LFD or PCR should be uploaded via the EAS website so we have a clear understanding of our community’s infection rate. This includes self-administered tests, private tests, and NHS tests.

When to take a PCR test

If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR test via the University’s Early Alert Service (EAS) or via the NHS. While waiting for your testing appointment and for your results to be returned, you must self-isolate.

If you have a received a positive result from a LFD Test, you must self-isolate, tell the EAS of your LFD test result (upload it here) and book a PCR test. Continue to self-isolate until you have the PCR results.

Should your results come back positive, you will need continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when you first felt symptoms (or from the date you tested positive on an LFD) and follow instructions from the EAS and/or NHS.

For information on testing for travel, please see the Government website here.

When to take a LFD test

You are encouraged to take two LFD tests each week, as a matter of routine, when you have no Covid-19 symptoms (i.e. you are asymptomatic). Testing Kits are available to collect from the Lodge. All you need to do is show your Bod card or have your Single Sign-On username, and you’ll be able to collect a box, free of charge. To make things quicker, we recommend that you check your details are registered with the Early Alert Service before you collect your test kit. Each kit contains seven testing sets. You can also collect test kits from a number of locations within the University. For a full list, please see here.

If you test positive in any LFD test, you must self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory PCR test. If you receive a PCR test result, positive or negative, you must report your result by using the Report a Test Button on the University’s testing webpage and upload the test result to the NHS app.

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to self-isolate. However, you will need to take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days (or until 10 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for Covid-19 if this is earlier).

You will not need to isolate if the tests remain negative. If you test positive in any of your LFD tests, or develop symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate immediately and take a confirmatory PCR test.

Please be sure to log the results from all PCRs and LFDs on the EAS website and do not hesitate to email easresults@lincoln.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

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