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#1 Posted : 20 November 2020 11:12:42(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

My employer wants to insist on a negative test before a COVID patient returns to the workplace.  But people can continue to test positive well after they have been ill.

This is punitive to people who want to reurn towork and have limited sick ppay allowance.

Anyone else come across this?

#2 Posted : 20 November 2020 16:26:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

My partner worked in a care home and they had this in place.

#3 Posted : 20 November 2020 21:26:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

No where near my knowledge orexperience, but does the test come up with the same result for someonewho tests positive (active symptoms)  as well assomeone who has 'recoevered'and the test ist registering theanti-bodies.  What I'm trying to ask is,what is the difference between having theanti-bodies andtestiung positiveanddoes the average test show the differenc?
If it can't tell the difference then the workforce will be excluded from work once they get vaccinated (assumption). On the limited info I have of the CV-19, the company's approach doesn' t follow the science!
​​​​​​​Woldbenice of a wiser head could offer a simple explanation on thedifference between positive test andhaving anti-bodies

John Murray  
#4 Posted : 20 November 2020 23:37:37(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

That would depend upon what test is applied.

An antibody test would [obviously] show antibodies, which would indicate you have had the infection to which they are produced to fight.

An antigen test, tests for viral proteins. It is considered to be less accurate. The Polymerase Chain Reaction test, tests for the virus by multipling proteins believed to be from sars-cov-2.

Neither test can prove you are infectious, just that you may be.

A positive antibody test does not prove you are infectious or not infectious, just that you have been and still may be infected.



thanks 3 users thanked John Murray for this useful post.
AcornsConsult on 21/11/2020(UTC), peter gotch on 21/11/2020(UTC), Grandprixbabe on 24/11/2020(UTC)
#5 Posted : 21 November 2020 09:09:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Thanks John, I think what your saying is what I was wondering on the OP, that the company approach has no value for the average person with access to testing and that overtime they will have a diminishing workforce available to return to work 

John Murray  
#6 Posted : 23 November 2020 08:05:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

Since the test is for the antibodies produced by an infection, a positive result will show that you have the antibodies, but not if you are [currently] capable of infecting others.

If you are going to wait for a negative result, you will have to wait a long time if the person has been infected but has recovered. The antibody count drops after an infection has been overcome, by about day 80 it will be at half the level it was at peak..

Now, if the test is for the active virus (nasopharyngeal swab), and the result is negative, it may prove that the person does not have active virus, or the test may have returned a false negative (or even a false positive). The test will have to be repeated several times if you want absolute confidence, or you could go for a test on a lower-respiratory-tract sample.

“I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.”

Woody Allen

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Grandprixbabe on 24/11/2020(UTC)
#7 Posted : 23 November 2020 08:20:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

sorry guys why are you only talking about anitbody testing?...antibody tests are only any good for epidemilogical studies and not for diagnostic testing...diagnostic testing for COVID-19 by viral RNA or protein detection in respiratory specimens supports decision making for clinical, infection control..SARS-CoV-2 detection for diagnosis of patients with COVID-19-like symptoms is essential for patient care, triage and isolation in healthcare facilities....I use it as part of the overall strategy but not as a tool for diagnostic testing...

A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 23 November 2020 10:57:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

A person is infected with the coronavirus virus and it begins to multiple in their cells. At some point after this (probably several days later) they become infectious ie they start shedding the virus in sufficient quantity to pass it on to other people. At some point they may develop symptoms of the infection but not always (it could be that 70-80% of infected people are asymptomatic). It could take upto a week for a person to show symptoms.  Once person has had the disease their immune system should have neutralised the disease and they will no longer show symptoms and no longer produce virus. As it is an RNA virus it does not hang around in the cells unlike HIV, chicken pox or Hep B.  

It does look like it is possible to be reinfected by the coronavirus. The “long Covid syndrome” looks like a post viral condition caused by the immune system trying to readjust and it is not associated with continuing infection.

When it comes to testing there are three basic tests:

  1. RT-PCR. This detects the viral RNA. It is regarded as the gold standard as firstly for virus to be infectious it must be intact with both it’s protein coating and viral genome present. The viral genome by itself is not infectious and as RNA is not very stable you are less likely to pick up false positives. It is believed to be 90% reliable. The test is expensive to administer and therefore it only being offered to people who are showing symptoms
  2. Antigen detecting: the government is pushing this as a iuui8way to test asymptomatic people eg students wanting to go home for Christmas.  The test is easy to administer; similar to a pregnancy testing kit and therefore cheap. It is less reliable that the RT-PCR as it will pick up non-infectious empty viral coatings. The viral replication procures is not perfect and creates a proportion of either naked RNA which soon breaks down and “empty” viruses which hang around and will be detected by the antigen test.
  3. Antibody testing: this detects the antibodies that people produce during an infection. They hang around and confer immunity to the infection. The presence of the antibody does not mean that you are infections.

There are a lot of unknowns and the PHE set some dates, which are not fool proof but are legal requirements. So if in someone’s medical opinion, including Track and trace you might have been infected you MUST isolate for 14 days as this is maximum time that it takes from you being infected  to you either developing symptoms, becoming infectious or testing positive ( by RT-PCR). It is possible that it might take longer but unlikely.

If you have TESTED positive  they have set 10 days as the time you need to isolate. These are legal requirements not medical recommendations. It is very difficult to prove that any individual is non-infectious at any point in time, and there is no legal requirement to do so.

I am not sure it is permitted to exclude staff on the grounds that they MAY be infectious unless you have a good reason. That’s one of those things that needs to be tested by the lawyers

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Kate on 24/11/2020(UTC)
#9 Posted : 24 November 2020 09:19:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

...yep all good points of reference.....I know all the variables....but going back to the OP...the type of test you have is key to the debate..but the difference here is what you priorities....economics or public safety...

Yes I put these systems in all over the world for HCID (High Consequence Infectous Diseases) so I understand the health risk ...

It isn't designed to be punative but it can be seen that way, recent example - Practice Manager (No Symptoms) visits Mum every day who had tested postive = 6 practice staff test positive....they loose money because she felt fine...

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