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Covid: What does a positive test result look like?

Man taking Covid test

We’ve become dab hands at swabbing now. (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re showing symptoms of Covid already, you’re encouraged to use the PCR test. You can order one online or order a test at a walk-in/drive-thru site.

These tests get sent off to a lab and you’ll likely get your results back the next day, clearly stating whether you tested positive or not.

However, for those who need to take a test without showing any symptoms – be it a requirement of entering your work office, for example – you’ll use a lateral flow test.

The results come back within 30 minutes, and you do it yourself. But this means being able to understand the results yourself.

So, what does a positive Covid test look like?

What does a positive lateral flow test look like?

Lateral flow tests come in a package with clear instructions, so once you’ve followed them and set everything up, you must wait for your results.

After you’ve taken your rapid lateral flow test, you are advised to wait at least 30 minutes for the full result to come through.

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However, results usually start to show sooner than that.

If your test comes back positive, you’ll see two lines, one next to the control line marked with a letter C and one next to the test line marked with a letter T.

If your result comes back positive, you must report this test result to the NHS.

If you get a positive result, it means you are currently infected with coronavirus and risk infecting others. When you report your result, you will be provided with further information on the next steps to take.

Lateral flow Covid-19 test - Negative result

A negative lateral flow result. (Picture: Getty)

A negative result will show one line next to the C, whereas a voided test will show either no lines or one line next to the T.

If your result is void, take another test.


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