Evaluating social and spatial inequalities of large scale rapid lateral flow SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing in COVID-19 management: An observational study of Liverpool, UK (November 2020 to January 2021)



Green, Mark A, Garcia-Finana, Marta, Barr, Ben, Burnside, Girvan, Cheyne, Christopher P, Hughes, David, Ashton, Matthew, Sheard, Sally and Buchan, Iain E
(2021) Evaluating social and spatial inequalities of large scale rapid lateral flow SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing in COVID-19 management: An observational study of Liverpool, UK (November 2020 to January 2021). LANCET REGIONAL HEALTH-EUROPE, 6 (Suppl ). A3-A3.

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Abstract

<h4>Background</h4>Large-scale asymptomatic testing of communities in Liverpool (UK) for SARS-CoV-2 was used as a public health tool for containing COVID-19. The aim of the study is to explore social and spatial inequalities in uptake and case-detection of rapid lateral flow SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests (LFTs) offered to people without symptoms of COVID-19.<h4>Methods</h4>Linked pseudonymised records for asymptomatic residents in Liverpool who received a LFT for COVID-19 between 6th November 2020 to 31st January 2021 were accessed using the Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action resource. Bayesian Hierarchical Poisson Besag, York, and Mollié models were used to estimate ecological associations for uptake and positivity of testing.<h4>Findings</h4>214 525 residents (43%) received a LFT identifying 5192 individuals as positive cases of COVID-19 (1.3% of tests were positive). Uptake was highest in November when there was military assistance. High uptake was observed again in the week preceding Christmas and was sustained into a national lockdown. Overall uptake were lower among males (e.g. 40% uptake over the whole period), Black Asian and other Minority Ethnic groups (e.g. 27% uptake for 'Mixed' ethnicity) and in the most deprived areas (e.g. 32% uptake in most deprived areas). These population groups were also more likely to have received positive tests for COVID-19. Models demonstrated that uptake and repeat testing were lower in areas of higher deprivation, areas located further from test sites and areas containing populations less confident in the using Internet technologies. Positive tests were spatially clustered in deprived areas.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Large-scale voluntary asymptomatic community testing saw social, ethnic, digital and spatial inequalities in uptake. COVID-19 testing and support to isolate need to be more accessible to the vulnerable communities most impacted by the pandemic, including non-digital means of access.<h4>Funding</h4>Department of Health and Social Care (UK) and Economic and Social Research Council.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 4206 Public Health, 42 Health Sciences, 44 Human Society, Coronaviruses, Clinical Research, Health Disparities, Coronaviruses Disparities and At-Risk Populations, Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Coronaviruses Diagnostics and Prognostics, Social Determinants of Health, Minority Health, 10 Reduced Inequalities, 3 Good Health and Well Being
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 08:23
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 20:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100107
Open Access URL: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanepe/article/...
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3123219