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SammyK  
#1 Posted : 06 January 2021 09:40:29(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
SammyK

Morning all, apologies for asking another question about this! my workplace have now said that if a member of staff have tested positive for COVID they are to have an NHS negative COVID test before returning to work. Has anyone else heard this? surely it goes against guidance that is. Self isolate for 10 days dont leave house unless symptom free for 48 hours without symptoms? I cant find any info online that says you should get another test. Does anyone have any thoughts? thank you!

Brian Hagyard  
#2 Posted : 06 January 2021 10:02:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

You are right Sammy their is no requirement under the guidance or regulations to get a -ve test to return to work. Not sure how someone would access a second test through NHS (unless they lied) and there have been a number of threads before about the ability of employers to compel staff to take test and provide the results - i will leave that one to the legal people.

However i also read that UK may want anyone entering the country to provide a negative test result - a bit like the drivers had to to return to Europe over Christmas - so thats not to say the legislation may change.

Edited by user 06 January 2021 10:04:07(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A Kurdziel  
#3 Posted : 06 January 2021 10:10:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

“before they can return to work” Does that means that they are being furloughed or suspended with no pay. It sounds like someone is looking to cut down on staff pay.

A negative test does not prove anything except that you do not have the virus at the time of the test. You can walk out of the test centre and be infected 5 minutes later, which is why the government does not support this approach and against the idea of a “covid passport”. Unless you test everyday and isolate between tests it’s pointless.

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 06 January 2021 10:51:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

When the concept of testing for cause came out there were no facilities to support such action as the laboratories were already swamped and this was before the mass tesing regiemes implemented in areas such as Liverpool.

It was one of the reasons travellers could not shorten their return quarantine through paying for a test.

Of course your employer will likely say "it's only one test..." trouble is when everyone acts in the same manner a limited resource is rapidly consumed - stock pilers only take one pack of toilet roll but if everyone does it on the same day then the shelves are empty.

As AK has said the test would only prove a result (one way or another) at a very specific moment in time.

Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 06 January 2021 10:51:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

When the concept of testing for cause came out there were no facilities to support such action as the laboratories were already swamped and this was before the mass tesing regiemes implemented in areas such as Liverpool.

It was one of the reasons travellers could not shorten their return quarantine through paying for a test.

Of course your employer will likely say "it's only one test..." trouble is when everyone acts in the same manner a limited resource is rapidly consumed - stock pilers only take one pack of toilet roll but if everyone does it on the same day then the shelves are empty.

As AK has said the test would only prove a result (one way or another) at a very specific moment in time.

chris.packham  
#6 Posted : 06 January 2021 11:09:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

I have studies that report that residual RNA following a Covid-19 infection can return a positive test result for some weeks after recovery. Thus the concept of testing suggested could result in a number of people having to spend longer than needed away from the workplace.

thanks 1 user thanked chris.packham for this useful post.
Mark-W on 11/01/2021(UTC)
Gerry Knowles  
#7 Posted : 06 January 2021 12:42:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gerry Knowles

The negative test is a red herring and as a number of contributers have said it only proves that at the time of the test you were negative.  I would suggest that it is only valid until you leave the test centre.  So asking for a negative test does not prove anything. 

As a business we have said to employees throughout the pandemic that they must react to symptoms and follow the guidelines and above all inform the business what is going on.  

Unfortunately I cant say how effective this has been as until now we have had no positive cases within our workforce neither have we had any instances where an employee has to self isolate.  I guess we may have been lucky. 

Edited by user 06 January 2021 12:42:57(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling error

peter gotch  
#8 Posted : 06 January 2021 15:34:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Sammy - no apology required. Someone has had a "good idea".

Suggest you try and find out who has come up with this edict and ask them to explain the rationale.

Then, probably point out that multiple sources provide guidance that this is NOT the way forward.

chris.packham  
#9 Posted : 08 January 2021 10:32:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

I wonder how reliable a negative test is anyway. Having had such a test whilst an in-patient and experienced how this was done presumably correctly by a trained and experienced nurse I have some doubts about how well samples will be taken by individuals with almost certainly only limited or no training. The quality of the result will obviously depend on the quality of the sample taken. So if a negative result is shown could this be because the sampling did not reach the places it needed to reach? How would we know?

Kate  
#10 Posted : 08 January 2021 10:55:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Chris, I agree.  I did a home test and can't say I had full confidence in the negative result - I did try to swab my tonsils but this isn't at all an easy thing to do.  The instructions suggested practising first with a cotton bud which I did a few times, but still didn't feel confident in my technique.  And I didn't want to do lots of practice as it might make my throat sore.

chris.packham  
#11 Posted : 08 January 2021 11:59:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Kate - so what do you think of the Government idea that school children should take their own swabs?

Kate  
#12 Posted : 08 January 2021 12:57:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I was just reading the medical column in the latest issue of Private Eye and it claims that while positive test results are reliable, negative test results may be wrong in about half of cases.

chris.packham  
#13 Posted : 08 January 2021 13:33:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Kate - you might find this interesting reading: https://arc-w.nihr.ac.uk/news/coronavirus-how-accurate-are-coronavirus-tests/

thanks 1 user thanked chris.packham for this useful post.
Kate on 08/01/2021(UTC)
Pandatank  
#14 Posted : 08 January 2021 14:41:42(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Pandatank

Originally Posted by: Kate Go to Quoted Post
Chris, I agree. I did a home test and can't say I had full confidence in the negative result - I did try to swab my tonsils but this isn't at all an easy thing to do. The instructions suggested practising first with a cotton bud which I did a few times, but still didn't feel confident in my technique. And I didn't want to do lots of practice as it might make my throat sore.
Yeah, the swabbing your tonsils while avoidi g the gag/vom reflex because vom on the swab nullifies the result, yeah it's tricky. The buzz on social media (even among health professionals) is all about the false positive rates. Issues with false negatives is a new one on me.
MikeKelly  
#15 Posted : 08 January 2021 14:46:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
MikeKelly

Hi Kate

That covid column by MD is probably the best one around and a happy new year to Private Eye too-keep it up.

It should be essential reading for all Tory [mostly] politicians and those at cabinet level in particular.

Regards

Mike 

peter gotch  
#16 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:22:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Pandatank

The buzz on mainstream media has been about false negatives for many months.

It has influenced e.g. the debate as to the efficacy of requiring negative tests for those travelling between nations.

Repeated claims that the proportion of false negatives may be quite high, whatever the test method used (but varying depending on method and how and by whom deployed).

To respond to Kate's point, I find the idea that small children would self test to be somewhat ludicrous. For medical reasons I have been swabbing out my mouth with plastic sponges mounted on sticks for 3 years. 50% of the time makes me retch and that's just when I do my upper palate, not if I were to try and reach down to the throat. Can't see primary school kids putting themselves through this ordeal and doing it effectively. 

Roundtuit  
#17 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:58:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Its okay the "not children" in school can add it to their days activity. They are already expected to deal with the bodily functions of societies youngest - "fetch the Pink Stuff"!

Roundtuit  
#18 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:58:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Its okay the "not children" in school can add it to their days activity. They are already expected to deal with the bodily functions of societies youngest - "fetch the Pink Stuff"!

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