Private Covid-19 Tests Explained

Get fast, reliable results from Blue Horizon
a government listed provider of private Covid-19 tests.

Blue Horizon have been helping people access Laboratory testing from the comfort of their own home since 2009. As our laboratory partners now offer COVID-19 PCR Swab tests and Covid Antibody tests, our customers can order these Coronavirus testing kits safely online, alongside our standard range of tests for thyroid hormones and cancer markers.

What is the difference between PCR and antibody tests?

Coronavirus testing is extremely important, both for individual diagnosis, and for wider scientific understanding about the spread and severity of the virus.

There are two types of test used in the diagnosis of Covid-19 which you have probably heard about – PCR and antibody. If you are not familiar with these tests, you might have questions about how they work and you may be wondering which test to take if you are concerned that you have covid-19.

The Covid 19-PCR Swab test specificity is 100% and the sensitivity is over 95% at 0.75 copies of viral RNA/ul.

Covid 19-PCR Swab testing – do I currently have Covid?

The Covid 19-PCR Swab test is used to tell you if you have covid-19.

A sample is collected using a swab which is rubbed against the throat and the inside of the nose. This sample is then tested in a laboratory for RNA fragments of SARS-Cov-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19.

While the test is best conducted when you are symptomatic, samples can be collected without the presence of Covid-19 symptoms. With the launch of the Test to Release scheme, more people are using the results of this test as approved proof that they are safe to travel.

The Covid 19-PCR Swab test specificity is 100% and the sensitivity is over 95% at 0.75 copies of viral RNA/ul.

COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test – have I had Covid?

The Covid Antibody Blood test is used to tell you if you have had covid-19.

Using a blood sample, the test looks for the presence of both IgM and IgG antibodies to SARS-Cov-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19.

This test is best conducted from 14 days and onwards after suspected infection for IgG antibodies, and after 5 days for IgM antibodies.

The COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test specificity is 98.1% overall and the sensitivity is up to 100% after 14 days post exposure

Which test do I need?

If you are concerned that you have Covid-19, have been exposed to the virus or need a confirmation that you do not have the virus, for work or travel purposes, the Covid 19-PCR Swab test is the appropriate testing option.

If you suspect that you have had Covid-19 previously and want to confirm this, the COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test is the appropriate testing option.

A fast and reliable private testing service from our independent laboratory

Our test runs are on a very small scale compared to the UK government’s ambitious plans for mass detection and screening. Private testing is run independently from the government, and the sale of these tests does not limit capacity for NHS access to these tests.

Both the COVID-19 RT-PCR swab tests and the Coronavirus IgG IgM COVID-19 Antibody test are carried out by our regular trusted private laboratories that are fully accredited and registered with the Care Quality Commission where required.

How do you take the Covid test?

If you are unsure how to take a self covid test, please take a few minutes to watch this instructional video that covers both the sample taking process, and also administration such as registering the kit online and packing the kit properly.

How do home-to-laboratory coronavirus tests work?

For those that have not used home collection kits before the process can seem a little daunting, but 95% of our customers find collecting a viable swab sample straight forward, although the antibody vacutainer kit comes with the option of assistance from a nurse.

Here’s how the process works

  1. Order your Coronavirus test kit online. Kits are dispatched the same day (if ordered before 1pm, Monday to Friday)
  2. Testing kits are sent using the Royal Mail Next Day guaranteed by 1pm service, where a tracking number is provided. The service aims to deliver by 4pm, although we sometimes are able to offer a next day by 9am service (which aims to deliver your private covid test by 11am).
  3. When your kit arrives, follow the enclosed instructions to collect your sample.
  4. Return your sample back to us using the envelop provided. You can choose a variety return options, including tracked courier and drop off locations.
  5. When the laboratory receives your sample, they will start testing straight away. Results will be issued within 1-2 working days of laboratory receipt for the Antibody test and the next working day for the Covid PCR Swab test.

Private Covid-19 testing - frequently asked questions

Is there a Coronavirus testing clinic near me?

Because we quickly courier our covid testing kits directly to you, we do not use the usual network of clinics in your area - these are difficult to arrange appointments for and also carry the risk of spreading virus particles. We feel it is best to use our home coronavirus test kits, making full use of courier and postal services and allowing you to take a test in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Can I take a private testing kit at home without help?

Yes, you can. All of our private coronavirus test kits come with full instructions and are east to take at home by yourself, with the exception of the vacutainer antibody test, for which you’ll need to arrange your own nurse for the blood draw.

We always use expedited couriers to send the kits out to you, and in the case of Covid-19 PCR tests we are able to arrange a courier to pick up the sample from your door and deliver to the laboratory for analysis where it will be tested privately.

Are my Covid test results private and confidential?

Your covid test results are private and confidential, and will never be disclosed to anyone without your permission. The one exception to this is if you have a positive PCR test, meaning that you have an active Coronavirus infection. In such an instance, our laboratory will give your submitted details to NHS Track and Trace as well as yourself so that they can get in touch with you with a view to tracing contacts and helping to curb the spread of the virus.

Where to learn more about private coronavirus testing

If you would like more detail about our tests and how they are conducted, follow the links to the tests below or feel free to get in touch with us using the chat window.

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