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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 119198, tabled on 23 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that combined batch testing procedures for covid-19 do not lead to higher rates of false positive tests.

Answered on

16 March 2021

Pooled testing is an important part of the National Testing Programme allowing laboratories to test more samples. It is a safe and effective way of testing swab samples from several people at the same time providing quicker testing of asymptomatic people. However, pooled testing should only be used for samples from people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, they should be tested individually. Samples from those who have tested positive in the past should not be used in pooled testing