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What you need to know about coronavirus testing

This information is for you if you are a kidney patient who has:

  • Received B cell depleting-therapies or is on equivalent immunosuppression (eg rituximab)
  • Had an organ transplant or is on equivalent immunosuppression (eg immune- mediated kidney
  • CKD Stage 4 or 5, or is on dialysis

When to get a test

  • You should take a PCR test if you have Covid-19 symptoms (a runny nose, a headache, sore throat, fatigue (mild or severe), sneezing, a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste).
  • If you live in England, you should be sent a PCR home test kit to keep at home for this purpose, it is also recommended that you have a lateral flow test [LFT] ready too. You can find PCR home test kit instructions on the GOV.UK website. If you have not received a PCR home test kit or have used it and need a replacement, call 119, selecting the option for NHS Test and Trace for help.
  • After February 10 you can also use a LFT if you don’t have a PCR test or are awaiting results. You must report your LFT test results yourself by following the instructions provided. This will give you the best access to new Covid-19 treatments for vulnerable patients.
  • For Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, book your PCR for the earliest opportunity. Visiting a walk-in or drive-in test centre will be the fastest way to get a PCR test.


What to do if you test positive

If a test confirms you have coronavirus, the NHS will call you to discuss your next steps.


New antiviral and antibody treatments for Covid-19 are available for people aged 12 and over who have a positive COVID test and are at highest risk of getting seriously ill. Treatment needs to begin promptly to be most effective, so make sure you take a LFT or PCR test as soon as you have symptoms. Always submit any LFT result to the NHS as instructed.

If your LFT or PCR test is positive you may be contacted directly by a specialist team for treatment, but do not delay seeking advice from your kidney healthcare team as soon as you have a positive result. A doctor or specialist will confirm if you are eligible for treatment.

You can find more information on COVID-19 treatments:

Self isolate

If you test positive for COVID, you should self-isolate according to Government guidelines. Check for the latest information as the rules are changing regularly:

Support while self-isolating

Author: Kidney Charities Together Group

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