On 5 January 2022, the Scottish Government announced that people will no longer be asked to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) result. Instead, anyone with a positive LFD should report the result online as soon as the test is done.

In order to ensure that Public Health Scotland (PHS) continues to provide the most accurate information, changes have been made to the national COVID-19 case definition to reflect this revised testing strategy.

At present, PHS reports on PCR tests only.  From Thursday 13 January, PHS will also begin reporting on the number of people with a COVID-19 infection confirmed by either a PCR or first LFD positive test.

LFD positive cases that are followed by a negative PCR result within 48 hours will be denotified.

Given the increase in data to be interrogated, there will be a lag in reporting while PHS works to streamline the process. The data published on Thursday using this new measure will cover testing results up to Tuesday 11 January.

PHS is encouraging everyone to report their LFD test data so that an accurate report of testing that is ongoing in the population can be captured.

For more detailed information about Public Health Scotland’s role in monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact: PHS.Covid19Data&Analytics@phs.scot

Last updated: 06 October 2022