What is viral testing?
Viral testing is useful mainly during active infection, before the virus is cleared by the immune system. This test is used for diagnosing active infection in individuals suspected of having COVID-19, who are displaying the symptoms of the illness. The results provide the person with peace of mind or with a confirmation to potentially seek medical assistance if symptoms worsen.
- This type of test helps provide individuals with guidance on how to proceed if they are experiencing symptoms or not. If the test is positive the individual must know to follow ALL UK Government guidelines.
- This test would give people visibility to either carry on with life as they have been since lockdown began, or whether to self-isolate for 14 days.
- The viral test will highlight if a person is at that time safe to return to work or to leave the confined space of self-quarantine.
What is an antibody test?
An antibody test can detect if a person has already had coronavirus and has since recovered. The test is carried out by a phlebotomist drawing a small amount of blood and will determine if the person taking the test has already beaten the virus and gained some immunity to it.
- The development of an accurate antibody test is seen as key to helping Britain get back to work.
- Scientists believe people who produce antibodies after having coronavirus may develop immunity to catching the virus again, making them safe to return to work.
- People believe this will provide them with a piece of mind to know that they have in fact had the virus and didn’t suffer any noticeable symptoms
Why are these tests important?
“A widely available test that produces results so quickly would drastically change the UK's strategy for dealing with the virus and would change our daily lives.
In the NHS, staff are able to return to work sooner if they have already had the virus and go back to their normal lives.
The impact of these tests on the economy and on public health could be enormous.”
But why do these tests help employers?
These tests can provide a base guideline when starting the process of bringing people back into the office. The antibody test will give visibility to those who have had coronavirus and can return to work as normal, or if they haven’t had the virus it gives full visibility of their health in regards to COVID 19 and then the employee can take the recommended advice from the Government with true clarity of their situation.
These tests may be seen as an attractive benefit by some employees, demonstrating that their employers are taking additional steps to ensure their safety and, therefore, feeling more comfortable to return to the office.
One big reason that can be over looked is the effect this has had on peoples mental health. Having either of these tests offer a different level of reassurance to people no matter if they have had the virus and therefore built the antibody, if they have the virus currently and need to self-isolate or if they have never and currently do not have the virus. It provides an element of certainty that can provide a medical justification for the decisions people make during the relaxation of lockdown rules.
Our MD Danielle Asano said “It’s human nature to want certainty and over the last few months we've barely had any. We have kept ourselves and our loved ones isolated because of the unknown and there is a heightened sense of fear about this unknown dangerous virus. I think when you know for sure, either way, you can at the very least, make decisions based on it. Many people have spent the last few months feeling scared and ‘unsafe' of this invisible threat to us all. It's fascinating to read how many people have already had the virus with few symptoms, or none at all and knowing for sure could provide a feeling of relief to many.
For me personally, I want to offer my family access to the antibody test. If grandparents / parents have the test, we will then have clearer guidance on how to should proceed in terms of creating family bubbles, particularly around the more vulnerable members. I, like everyone else don't want to put my family, loved ones or colleagues health at risk and, knowing the results of the tests gives us a clearer idea of how to move forward. I think it ultimately comes down to the peace of mind it gives you, which is backed up from our own statistics gained from Cherry employees, as 100% of employees who want to take the test said they would want to for this same reason. So as it is now available, affordable and easy enough to take the test then yes I, like many others would want one. ”
We are working with a client of ours who are currently offering the anti-body test. If you would like further information on this please get in touch