What does a positive lateral flow test result look like? Lateral flow test results, explained

With Scotland reporting a record number of Covid cases on Wednesday as Omicron spreads, here’s how to tell the difference between a positive and negative lateral flow test result

What does a positive lateral flow test result look like? Lateral flow test results, explained (Image credit: jonkempnerphotos via Canva Pro)

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon used Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing to remind Scots to exercise caution as the country recorded a record number of Covid cases.

Scotland saw case numbers rise to 15,849 on Wednesday (December 29) as Omicron continues to increase the rate of transmission across the UK – with England reporting almost 130,000 positive coronavirus cases on Tuesday alone.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Read More

Read More
Covid Scotland: As Nicola Sturgeon updates on isolation rules and restrictions, ...
A positive lateral flow test (left) will feature two lines adjacent to C and T, whereas a negative lateral flow test (right) will only feature one red line next to C. (Image credit: annastories/Canva Pro)

With new restrictions on some sectors and venues in Scotland now in place until mid-January, Ms Sturgeon said that people in Scotland can expect an even further rise in daily Covid cases in the coming days and weeks.

With more people in Scotland testing positive for coronavirus than ever before, here’s what you need to watch out for when taking a lateral flow test.

What does a negative lateral flow test result look like?

Lateral flow test results can take up to 30 minutes to appear in full, but negative results can often appear after minutes.

A negative lateral flow test result will be marked on your test with a single red line running horizontally alongside the ‘C’ on the test device.

To ensure that you do not receive a false negative lateral flow test result, you should avoid using a lateral flow test if you have any regular coronavirus or Omicron symptoms or have been identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19.

What does a positive lateral flow test result look like?

A positive lateral flow test will be indicated with two lines on your lateral flow test device, rather than just one adjacent to the ‘C’ for ‘control’.

A second red line representing a positive result will appear next to the ‘T’ letter on the device.

While the line alongside ‘T’, which stands for ‘Test’, usually appears in bold if you have coronavirus, it can also appear as a faint red line.

Even if this second line is very faint, this is still likely a positive result – and one that should be confirmed with a second lateral flow test or a PCR test rather than ignored.

How do I know if my lateral flow test result is void?

A void lateral flow test result can be indicated in a number of ways.

The most common void result is seen with a single line adjacent to the ‘T’ for test on the lateral flow device.

But another way to tell if a result is void is if nothing appears at all.

If you do receive a void lateral flow test result, you should perform another lateral flow test – but should not use any of the same equipment, swabs or containers as used in your previous, void test attempt.

Do I need to report my lateral flow test result?

Regardless of whether you receive a positive or negative result, you should report the result you get from a lateral flow test online via GOV.UK.

You can do this by going to the UK Government website or by logging your test result at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

Even if your lateral flow test result is negative, registering it online helps the government and health experts to monitor the spread of the virus in certain parts of the country and prevent health services from becoming overwhelmed.

Find out more about reporting your lateral flow test result in Scotland at NHS Inform.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.