Covid 19 testing
The following information is for both employees and non employees of Inverclyde Council.
The UK government has opened covid-19 testing facilities for everyone who is symptomatic over the age of five. This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for clinical purposes and testing of key workers in health and social care sector and the key worker testing for non NHS/Health care.
Access to testing can be made through the NHS site https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test. Link at the side of this page.
Inverclyde Council Employees
Access to testing for key workers is determined using a prioritisation matrix for key workers. See Appendix 1 of the guidance which can be downloaded by clicking on the link provided.
Testing will allow symptomatic key workers and their household members to know whether or not they have the virus. This will in turn keep essential services running.
Testing is available for all persons with the following symptoms:
- new: continuous cough
- fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
- loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
Council employees only
- If you are a member of staff absent from work because a household member has symptoms
- If you are a member of staff who has symptoms (but feels sufficiently well and would notmally continue to work)
Council Employees Only
Make a referral
When the member of staff contacts you please complete and submit a management referral form for either the staff member or the household member, this can be downloaded by clicking on the referral form link below.
The completed form should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. This should be followed up with a phone call to the health and safety section.
The employee (or their family member) details will then be entered onto a national portal by the council’s health and safety service. Information on employees requiring testing must be submitted to Health and Safety by 1:30pm daily.
Individuals will receive a text or email the same day inviting them to either book an appointment, or offering a home self-testing kit.
Testing is only available in the first five days from the onset of symptoms so it is important to make a referral as soon as possible.
Employees or the family member (or their parent/guardian if they are aged under 16 years) will then be informed of the appointment slot and instructions for attending by telephone or email. Results are received in 24 - 48 hours.
The staff member must be a key worker and have a role not able to be carried out at home.
If a staff member has symptoms then no other household member is eligible for testing. If the member of staff is off work because a household member has symptoms, it is the household member who will be tested and the member of staff will not require a test.
Please remember this is solely a testing service and does not include clinical assessment. If anyone is concerned about worsening symptoms, they should call NHS24 on 111.
Until test results are known households should continue to follow guidance on self-isolation from NHS Inform - https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19#
Staff with a household member who tests positive for covid-19 MUST stay at home for 14 days from the start of their symptoms, even if they do not have symptoms.
When to get employees tested
Employees should get tested in the first three days of covid-19 symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day five.
No testing should be undertaken after day five, unless it is for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.
If the employee is self-isolating because a person they live with has symptoms, you can refer that household member for testing.
By testing the household member(s), we can be much more certain that they should either be self-isolating or can return to work.
Negative tests and returning to work
Even if a key worker has had a negative result, it is important to still apply caution.
If everyone with symptoms who was tested in their household receive a negative result, the employee can return to work if their work cannot be done from home, providing they are well enough, and have not had a fever for 48 hours.
If, after returning to work, they develop symptoms they should follow the NHS Inform guidance and self-isolate. Employees should discuss their return to work with their line manager.
Test results and staying safe
The test will confirm if an individual who is showing symptoms of the virus actually has it. It will not confirm whether they have had it and have now recovered.
It is vital those who test negative continue to follow Scottish Government guidance including precautions related to social distancing and handwashing.
What happens to the test results
Results under the UK testing programme are communicated to individuals by text message and are intended to be fed back into public health records in due course.
Testing – additional information
For this area testing is currently conducted in drive-through sites operating at Glasgow Airport and the employee will be sent full details of how to access the facility when they receive their appointment.
These facilities are run by private sector organisations on behalf of the UK Government. This guidance will be updated as additional testing capacity is deployed on Scotland.
A limited number of home test kits are also available and can be used by employees who cannot arrange transport to Glasgow Airport.
The target for sending results is by text within 48hrs. A call centre is available by phone, to help people with the process and deal with test result queries.
Any questions from employers or key workers about accessing testing, the website, or results should be made through email@example.com.
It is possible for staff to be able to self-refer, however this should not be used by Inverclyde Council employees unless advised to do so by your line manager.
Home test kits are an option where key workers are unable to attend a drive-through centre, subject to availability. This option is covered in the booking process.
How home testing works
After a home-test kit is ordered, the test would then be delivered the next day, and the essential worker or household member would self-administer the swab, packing it up as per the included instructions.
A Royal Mail courier will arrive the day after to collect it and take it to the lab. The aim is that results will then be received by text within 48 hours.
Reliability of home testing
Evidence suggests that those with no clinical background or training should be completely able to secure an effective sample.
International peer-reviewed evidence suggests that self-swabbing is just as effective at securing a valid sample as clinician-administered testing.
Each kit comes with comprehensive instructions to guide you through how to administer the swab yourself. Test kits come with further instructions and a short video to take you through the process.
Protection of personal data
Amazon and Royal Mail are the commercial partners who are using their logistics systems to deliver home testing nationwide. They do not have access to the results or any health data.