The COVID Exit Strategy: LFD Test Pivot

2 min read


There is a way out of this COVID-response nightmare – you replace PCR testing with LFD testing and praise the vaccines 👇🏼

Three big but unannounced changes regarding ‘Case’ counting in the UK are the keys to getting out of the casedemic. 

Interestingly, these decisions do NOT follow the WHO Confirmed Case definition (updated 16th Dec), as you can only count a positive LFD test as a COVID-19 case if accompanied with symptoms or in probable contact with a symptomatic/PCR Positive individual.

These BIG unilateral decisions were:

1️⃣ Between 10-20th Nov, PHE started including LFD data in Test Volume & Cases metrics.

2️⃣ As of 5th Jan 2021, a massive scaling of asymptomatic LFD tests commenced across community, business, and healthcare staff.

3️⃣ As of 27th Jan 2021, Positive LFD tests no longer (on a temp basis) require a confirmatory PCR test to be treated as a case, contact traced and subject to self-isolation rules.

Huge (positive) consequences

The outcome of these decisions are huge. Firstly, look at the effect these decisions had on “cases” and overall test positivity. 👇🏼

Secondly, this allows for the UK Govt to ween themselves off of the clinically questionable PCR test for surveillance purposes. 🙌🏼

😲 As you can see the Test Volume increases are solely down to scaling the LFD tests. Govt are now performing more LFD than PCR tests – and this excludes LFD tests from the devolved nations!

🤔 Moreover, they have been dialling down PCR volumes since early Jan. Lo and behold, look what has been happening to “cases” and positivity.

Double clicking into Positivity, we can see why… 

😱 Currently, PCR tests have a positivity rate of 11.7% (1 in 9), whilst LFD tests have a tiny value of 0.6% (1 in 167)!

UK Govt pivoting to LFD Tests

Convenient Coincidence?

👌🏼Add the winter seasonality effect on respiratory viruses and mortality burden that will start tapering down from here on out, plus the Vaccine coverage targets… and voila!

🙄 The perfect story. All thanks to Lockdowns, Vaccines and making Holidaying neigh on impossible. Naturally…

🦠 It’s looking pretty clear, as declared from the outset, that this variant mania instigated mid December was and is a red herring.

🤔And regarding the vaccine push… well, the timing is awfully convenient, effectively riding on the coattails of the above testing pivot, the PCR Ct/weak positive cautions by WHO, and the RV/mortality seasonality curve.

🪰 The only fly in the ointment re the Vaccine push is the total mortality data is looking concerning, and there is a lot of scientific concern about the UK strategy of single dosing and experimentation on the most frail.

Oh, and one other thing. We must all be grateful for the Govt pivot to LFD testing as it gives us an out of this insanity, but it comes with a downside….

😬 LFD #EnablementTesting WILL become a standard for many business and access to public services. And, these testing pivots are considered temporary… the Govt can swing back to PCR whenever they want/need more cases.

What do you think?

❓Do you see this story any different? If so, please share your thoughts below.



Data comes from PHE Coronavirus dashboard and the latest Gov NHS Test & Trace report.


The Original Facebook Post

Enjoyed the read?

Comment below, and check out our longer-form Articles, our shorter Micro Blog sections, grab Healthy Meal Ideas from AdapNation Food Diary, and Free Gym Workout Plans at #HyperWorkouts.

5 thoughts on “The COVID Exit Strategy: LFD Test Pivot

Add yours

  1. Links in Sources need better attention ie the links do not take you straight to the data, so you end up wading around in gov websites and soon get lost. Amend this please!

    1. Not possible. The underlying data in question is embedded in certain files (Test & Trace) and/or downloadable via an API call (PHE dashboard). It’s all there, but you’ll need to get to the data sources and work through it. Of course, that’s the point of this analysis, and I always share root sources so people can verify or go deeper / in different directions. I cannot unfortunately spoon feed the data because of the source complexity.

  2. 15% for PCR positivity? Where’s that from? 1.7% is the ONS iS figure for the fortnight to 30Jan21..

    1. You must measure PCR tests vs PCR positives by subtracting the LFD numbers. PHE and NHS Test & Trace have these underlying data – links to those sources at the bottom of this post. The current positivity stated in this post was 11.7%.

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: