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Coronavirus and Antibody Testing for PAs

The Government’s National Coronavirus Testing Programme has now expanded capacity to test other frontline workers, including all personal care assistants (PAs) who are having to self-isolate due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.

View National Guidance on Testing

Eligibility for testing

· PA’s self-isolating because they have COVID-19 symptoms

In this instance, only they will be eligible for a COVID-19 test. No other members of their household are eligible.

· PA self-isolating because a person in their household is symptomatic, but they are not (If you live with a PA this may be you).

In this instance, the household member (adults and children aged 5 and over) is eligible to have a test for COVID-19. Your PA’s name will be noted but they do not need to have a test.

· Self-isolating for other reasons

If they are self-isolating for other reasons and are not symptomatic, they will not be eligible to be tested.

To check if you have COVID-19 symptoms, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Symptomatic people should be swabbed as soon as possible within 5 days of developing symptoms

To apply for a test referral please follow this link to the Community Swabbing Service

Testing is by appointment only – please do not attend a testing centre unless you have completed the test referral form and had an appointment confirmed.

How it works

Your PA will receive a phone call to arrange their test. This will normally be within a day or so of submitting the application. They will be provided with all the details they need to attend for testing as part of that call.

The tests are ‘drive-through’, meaning a car is needed to attend. More information is provided in the test referral application form. If they don’t have access to a car the Community Swabbing Service will do their best to help them access transport for their appointment. However, their ability to help is limited.

More information is available in the test referral form but if you have any further questions please contact the Community Swabbing Service by emailing swabbingservice@sheffield.gov.uk .

Antibody Tests
Antibody testing is now available across England and is being provided free of charge to anyone employed in adult social care. Personal assistants who provide for the care and support needs of adults are eligible, as are staff working in residential care, domiciliary care, extra care, supported living, and local authority adult social care departments.

The antibody test is a voluntary blood test which detects antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if you have previously had the virus and will inform government research.
You can’t take the test if you currently have symptoms or have been advised to take the COVID-19 test.

Please be aware that a positive test result for antibodies only means that someone has had COVID-19. There is currently no strong evidence to show that someone who has had COVID-19 can’t be infected with it again or pass it on to others.

If your test is positive, it is important that you keep up the prevention measures you have been doing for the last few months to stop the spread of the virus. You must continue to follow guidance around PPE, social distancing and hand washing.

View Document for details and guidance.

Register for an antibody blood test kit on GOV.UK

The test kit is posted to you. It is a ‘fingerprick’ blood test and comes with everything you need. You take the test and post your sample back

More information about antibody testing is on the Skills for Care Information Hub

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