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Coronavirus staff guidance University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Staff testing

Last updated: 12 October 2022 at 17:34

Asymptomatic staff are not currently required to test, except for staff who are vulnerable or who look after highly vulnerable patients, including:

  • haematology patients
  • oncology patients
  • patients in critical care
  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • renal dialysis patients

Symptomatic testing will continue for patients and staff, based on the current list of COVID-19 symptoms. The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a new and continuous cough, anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste). However, it is important to remember that COVID-19 can present as a wide range of other symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, myalgia (muscle ache), sore throat, headache, nasal congestion (stuffy nose), runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

In some circumstances, Infection Control may request additional swabbing. Line managers will inform their staff if this is required.

NHS staff can order lateral flow tests from the GOV.UK website. (On the order form, answer "yes" to the question: "Do you work for the NHS in England and take part in their staff testing programme?".)

    Staff who have a positive LFT must stay away from work for a minimum of five days. LFTs should be taken on days five and six (24 hours apart) and the staff member can return to work on day six, if both tests are negative and they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

    Staff who have a positive household contact are not required to isolate, if they remain negative, but must take an LFT for ten consecutive days. Any staff who have virus-like symptoms should do a daily LFT for five days, and only come to work if their LFTs remain negative and they feel well enough.

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