1. What we will do with your results

In England, swab test results and minimum relevant personal data (including name, contact details, postcode and ethnicity) will be shared with relevant public health bodies for referral to the NHS. In Wales, positive test results are shared with public health teams within the NHS.

Test results for Scotland and Northern Ireland follow an automated process, which transfers positive results directly to national health services.

We will link information from you in this study to data from the NHS and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and equivalent national databases in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, about your health status, for example, whether you have visited hospital or a GP or had another test for coronavirus (COVID-19). This is to try to work out what we need to do to keep the NHS going through this pandemic. We will do this for one year after your last visit.

We will only use names and date of birth where this is absolutely necessary to link to your NHS and ONS records. We will use your postcode to try to work out how COVID-19 is spreading around the country. At the point when they are collected, all samples and study records will be identified only by a code for your household and each person in it joining the study, together with month and year of birth and not the actual date of birth.

Information that can identify you will only be held by the ONS and IQVIA for the purposes of the study.

Responsible members of the University of Oxford may be given access to data for monitoring and/or audit of the study, to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations.

Please note that if you signed up to take part in the study before 21 July 2020 there has been a small change to the way in which information from participants in the COVID-19 Infection Survey is to be used by the ONS. The ONS intends to link data from the survey to other surveys and administrative data sets it holds. This will be beneficial in providing more in-depth analysis, which in turn will enable us to better understand the impact and nature of COVID-19 and answer critical questions to assist public health authorities and policy makers in better responding to the pandemic in the months ahead. This analysis is not part of the Infection Survey itself. Such linkage will continue for as long as there is value for statistical research and analysis.

The ONS may provide access to this data to accredited researchers for accredited research purposes by the use of accredited processing environments, where it is lawful and ethical to do so, and where the research is considered to be in the public good. It will not be possible to identify individuals from this data. Data will only be used for statistical research and analysis purposes and will not be shared with anyone else (other than access by accredited researchers).

Any samples arriving at labs from 21 March 2023 onwards will not be processed and you will not receive vouchers or results from these samples.

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2. How we will use your nose and throat swab and blood sample

Your nose and throat swab will be tested at one of the laboratories in the government accredited testing network using the standard test used in the national testing programmes to find out if someone currently has the coronavirus (COVID-19), even if they do not have symptoms.

Your blood sample will be tested by scientists at the University of Oxford. They will look for the levels of antibodies against COVID-19 in your blood.

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3. What we will do with your samples after the study

The nose and throat swab will be destroyed once the test is done.

We would like to keep any blood that is not used immediately for the antibody test for future research, including for future tests relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). You do not have to agree to this. Your blood sample will either be used up or destroyed after five years.

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4. How we will use your data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will use the data from your nose and throat swab and blood sample, together with other data sources available to the ONS. We will get data on how much you have used the NHS from NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the NHS body that looks after all NHS data. We particularly want to find out how having had the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the past affects how much you need to use the NHS in future.

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