What is Rapid Lateral Flow Testing for COVID-19?

8 January, 2021

We’ve been hearing a lot about Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing in the media lately. With the rollout to care homes and mass testing across UK cities, Rapid Testing seems to be at the forefront of our fight against controlling the spread of coronavirus. As we enter our third national lockdown, you may be wondering just what is Rapid Lateral Flow Testing, and whether it can help us turn the tide.


What is lateral flow testing?

Lateral flow testing is a very common type of medical test. Simply put, they’re designed to detect the presence of something (like a virus or an enzyme) in a sample that the user applies to the testing stip. By design, lateral flow testing is intended to provide quick and accurate results.

A perfect example of a lateral flow test is a pregnancy test. Users urinate onto the test strip, which then picks up the presence of an enzyme in the urine to tell the user if they’re pregnant or not. With the Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test, users add a sample of saliva or nasal swabbing to the test strip, which detects the presence of the virus to tell the test participant if they have the virus or not.


How does lateral flow testing work?

You may be wondering how lateral flow testing actually works and provides accurate results, especially when lab and blood tests are also used to test for COVID-19.

Simply put, a lateral flow test is a pad with a series or reactive strips on it. You apply the sample to the test and as it passess (or flows) down the pad, the reactive strips pick up the various particles in the sample, which often shows as a line. In the case of Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Tests, the reactive strip will turn a different colour if particles of the virus are detected in the sample applied.


How accurate is lateral flow testing?

As with any COVID-19 test, regardless of the result, you want to know that it’s correct.

There are many different brands of tests on the market with different levels of accuracy. Generally speaking, most tests are over 90% accurate – still a very good rate, but given the impact that COVID-19 is having on society, most people will want to know that their test is completely accurate.

Here at New Leaf Health, we only offer the Hughes Flowflex Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test – which is 99% accurate, having been piloted against PCR testing in a clinical setting.


How can lateral flow testing help stop the spread of COVID-19?

Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing is the speed at which tests can be completed and results presented. PCR lab testing can take a day or two to deliver results to the participant – crucial time which could affect work, childcare and a host of other things that have to be paused when someone needs to self-isolate. Rapid testing delivers results generally in just a matter of minutes, meaning an individual can show up to work, be tested before entering the workplace, then be cleared – or told to self-isolate if testing positive – on the spot.

Lateral flow tests are also very cost-effective when compared to other tests, so they can be used to mass-test those who don’t even have any COVID-19 symptoms – this test will tell you whether you are transmitting the virus, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not. This means that the test is great to roll out for workplaces that require staff on-site, such as construction firms, media production companies, manufacturing sites and health and social care settings, as well as for contract workers who may be required to produce a negative test before entering a client’s workplace.


Is lateral flow testing right for your business?

If you’re interested in learning more about how Rapid COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing can help your business, we’d love to speak to you. Here at New Leaf Health, we’re a wellbeing company, not just an online retailer. We firmly believe that lateral flow testing is key to protecting the physical health of our workforces, as well as giving staff peace of mind when entering the workplace.

To learn more about the tests we offer, visit out store page here, or send us an email – enquiries@newleafhealth.co.uk.

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