02 February 2022

One in three close contacts of Covid-19 cases ‘don’t report daily test results’

02 February 2022

One in three people taking daily lateral flow tests because they are a close contact of someone who has Covid-19 do not report their test results, a new survey suggests.

Anyone who is fully vaccinated but who is a close contact of a positive case of coronavirus is recommended to take a lateral flow test (LFT) every day for seven days, according to the latest Government advice.

But among those surveyed who were in this category and who were taking daily LFTs, 35% said they had no intention of reporting the results – roughly similar to the proportion who said they always report them (33%).

A further 21% said they sometimes reported the results, while 11% said they often did so.

Instructions included in LFT kits state that all results – positive or negative – should be reported to the NHS.

The survey, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is based on responses collected between January 10 and 15 from fully vaccinated adults in England who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

In the week ending January 15, around one in 20 people in England in private households were likely to have coronavirus, the ONS has previously said.

The new survey also suggests nearly half (46%) of those who had taken daily LFTs reported experiencing difficulty in obtaining the tests.

Common reasons were “I could not obtain a lateral flow test (no availability)” (82% of those experiencing difficulties), and “there was a delay in delivery of lateral flow tests” (23%).

Of all those surveyed who were fully vaccinated and who had been in close contact with a positive case of Covid-19, the majority of respondents (70%) said they had taken LFTs in line with Government advice.

For the three in 10 people who had not taken daily tests, the most common reasons were “I did not have access to enough lateral flow tests” (32% of those who did not take tests) and “I do not think it’s useful” (21%).

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Just over half of all respondents (56%) said they had taken additional measures to keep themselves and others safe, beyond Government guidelines and recommendations, while around seven in 10 (69%) agreed that “coronavirus poses a risk to me personally”.

The ONS said care should be taken when interpreting the results of the survey due to the “relatively small sample size” of 1,078 adults.

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