The acceptability of testing contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases using serial, self-administered lateral flow devices as an alternative to self-isolation

Nicola Love, Derren Ready, Charlie Turner, Lucy Yardley, G. James Rubin, Susan Hopkins, Isabel Oliver

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Background: Testing asymptomatic contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 could reduce onward transmission by improving case ascertainment and lessen the impact of self-isolation on un-infected individuals. This study investigated the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a ‘test to enable approach’ as part of England’s tracing strategy.
Methods: Contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases were offered serial testing as an alternative to self-isolation using daily self-performed lateral flow device (LFD) tests for the first 7 days post exposure. Asymptomatic participants with a negative LFD result were given 24 hours of freedom from self-isolation between each test. A self-collected confirmatory PCR test was performed on testing positive or at the end of the LFD testing period.
Results: Of 1,760 contacts, 882 consented to daily testing, with 812 within 48 hours of exposure sent testing packs. Of those who declined to participate, 39.112 who were sent packs, 570 (70.2 reported one or more LFD results; 102 (17.9 tested positive. Concordance between reported LFD result and a supplied LFD image was 97.12.89.66.3 95 3.4-11.1 were comparable to a comparator group who self-isolated (7.6 95 7.3-7.8.
Conclusion: This study shows a high acceptability, compliance and positivity rates when using self-administered LFDs among contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Offering routine testing as a structured part of the contact tracing process is likely to be an effective method of case ascertainment.
Original languageEnglish
PublishermedRxiv
DOIs
Publication statusUnpublished - 26 Mar 2021

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Covid19

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