From today, 13 January 2022, in addition to reporting the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 through a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, Public Health Scotland (PHS) will also begin reporting a combined figure for the number of people who have recorded a first positive PCR or an LFD (lateral flow device) test.

This change in reporting will ensure that PHS continues to provide the most accurate information available, following Scottish Government’s announcement that people are no longer asked to take a PCR test to confirm a positive LFD result.

Given the volumes and complexity of data to be analysed, we were originally planning for there to be a lag in reporting of this new measure. However, PHS has been able to streamline the process and the data published today covers testing results up to 12 January.

These new data are presented as experimental statistics* and are currently provided at a national level. Work is underway to ensure this data can be reported at Health Board and Local Authority level in the coming week. The data may also be subject to future revision as the new method for counting combined PCR and LFD tests evolves.

For more detailed information about Public Health Scotland’s role in producing statistics to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact: PHS.Covid19Data&

PHS is encouraging everyone to report their LFD test data so that an accurate report of testing that is ongoing in the population can be captured.

More information on the new testing strategy is available on the Scottish Government’s website (external website).

*official statistics that are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage.  

Last updated: 06 October 2022