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.
What does the test do?
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.
This test does not tell you if you currently have COVID-19. If you currently have symptoms or have been advised to take a COVID-19 test, please follow this link https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and please do not take an antibody test at this time.
Why take the test?
Results of the antibody test will support academic research studies across the UK that will help us better understand COVID-19 and how it has spread.
What does the test tell me?
An antibody test result can only tell you whether or not you have had the virus in the past and developed antibodies.
Our understanding of the body’s immune response to the virus is limited, and we do not currently know how long an antibody response lasts, nor whether having antibodies means a person cannot transmit the virus to others. Therefore, regardless of the result of an antibody test, individuals must continue to comply with government guidelines, including wearing PPE and social distancing.
How do I take the test?
To sign up for an antibody test, you will need to register on the online portal below.
Government guidance for the UK – https://www.gov.uk/register-coronavirus-antibody-test
You may already have seen that antibody testing is available for adult social care staff through local NHS sites. We are now also launching a new at-home antibody test which provides an additional route to access an antibody test, giving you greater flexibility and choice. You should only take one version of the test.
Please do not take a test if you currently have symptoms of COVID-19.
Protect yourself and others from the virus
Regardless of your antibody test result you must continue to follow the same guidelines as everyone else to protect yourself and others from the virus. For example:
● wash your hands often
● follow social distancing and PPE advice
● follow any local lockdown restrictions in your area
● self-isolate and get tested if you (or someone you live with) get symptoms, or you are advised to by NHS Test and Trace