Adult Social Care, Public Health and Hub Children Services
Date: 11 January 2022
Our Ref: STG/
Telephone: 01922 650334
Email: Kulvinder.kaur@walsall.gov.uk

Re: Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results

Dear Parent / Carer

We are writing to let you know in England from Tuesday 11 January 2022 people in England who test positive for COVID-19 on a lateral flow test will no longer need to have a PCR test to confirm the result.

A person who tests positive is required to self-isolate immediately. It is important that everyone reports their result on the government website or by calling 119, after which they will be contacted by contact tracers.

We can be confident with COVID-19 rates being so high at present that if a person tests positive using a lateral flow device they have the virus. What to do if you or your child develops symptoms of COVID 19 Anyone who develops any symptoms of COVID-19 or feels unwell must remain at home and arrangements must be made to be tested. This should be a PCR test and NOT a lateral flow test. PCR testing can be arranged by booking online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119. Lines are open every day 7am to 11pm and there is also support in 200 languages, including British Sign Language (BSL). For most people, especially children and adults who are vaccinated, including the booster, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of,  new continuous cough and/or  high temperature and/or  a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

It is worth also being aware of some of the wider symptoms of COVID-19 including: sore throat, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, shortness of breath, blocked/runny nose, diarrhoea and vomiting, and cold-like symptoms.
Test and Trace payment Anyone who is on a low income may be eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment will still be required to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFT result, to enable them to access financial support.

Lateral flow tests

Lateral flow tests are for people who have no symptoms and feel well. About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. The tests give a quick result and do not need to be sent to a lab.
Secondary schools or further education settings should be providing pupils with lateral flow testing kits for use at home.
Lateral flow tests can be ordered for other family members online or by calling 119. We ask everyone to be considerate when requesting, in only taking as many as they need for their household.

More information on symptom-free tests using a lateral flow test is available on the Walsall Council website, https://go.walsall.gov.uk/covid-19_information/covid-19_-_how_to_get_tested/covid-19_-_symptom-free_testing_for_all_residents

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your support in keeping our children and young people in our schools and communities safe and adhering to national and local COVID-19 guidance.

Kind regards,
Stephen Gunther
Director of Public Health

CONFIRMATORY PCR TESTS TO BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED FOR POSITIVE LATERAL FLOW TEST RESULTS