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Covid-19 Antibody Testing

Along with the new NHS Test and Trace service designed to identify, contain and control Coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives, the Government has announced it is starting Antibody testing for the virus.

Over the coming weeks, Antibody tests will be available to some NHS staff and patients who suspect they may have had Covid-19. Also, people who are already having blood taken as part of other tests (either in hospital or in their GP practice) will be asked whether they would like an antibody test.

A positive Antibody test result indicates that the person has previously had the virus and may have developed some form of immune response

It is not yet known how long the antibody response lasts or whether it means the person cannot transmit the virus to others and this testing on NHS staff, including those Sefton residents who work for the NHS, will help scientists learn about the level and length of immunity following infection. It will also tell them how the virus is spreading across the country.

This means a positive result will not be an ‘immunity passport’ and anyone testing positive will still be required to comply with social distancing measures and government guidelines.

The Government has said it plans to extend Antibody testing to other groups beyond NHS staff and patients later in the summer.

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.