1. Your appointment

A  survey team member will visit your home. The survey team member will use all the recommended precautions to protect you and other people in your home from getting the virus. The survey team member will then ask everyone who wants to join the study some questions about any symptoms they may have and about any contact with someone who had the coronavirus (COVID-19). They will also ask about sex, ethnicity, date of birth and occupation.

The  survey team member will show you how to take a swab from your nose and throat. This is straightforward and is being done in the drive-through testing centres. Anyone aged 12 years or over can take the swab themselves. The reason for asking people to swab themselves is to protect survey team members in case people have COVID-19 and do not know it.

If a parent or carer and child aged 2 to 11 years have consented to take part in the study, the survey team member will ask the parent or carer to take their own swab before taking the nose and throat swab from the child. The swabs are the same size as used normally for children.

If you are aged 16 years or over, you may also be asked to take part in an optional part of the study. This will involve giving a blood sample  which will be taken yourself using a finger prick testing kit that we will provide. When you book your appointment, someone from IQVIA will talk to you about this, but not all households will be invited to take part in this part of the study to give blood. You can always change your mind after booking the appointment, including on the day. Children and teenagers aged from 2 to 15 years will only have the nose and throat swabs.

The survey team member will either bring a finger prick kit with them, or we may post you a finger prick kit so that you have it ready for your visit. Taking blood from a finger prick means that the survey team member does not need to come into your home. The kit will have instructions on how to do the finger prick, and your survey team member can also explain how to do it. When blood is taken from a finger prick, there is a possibility of having sore fingers for a few days.

This visit will take 15 to 30 minutes. The trained survey team member will bring all necessary equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) with them to your home for the visit. The survey team member will use all the recommended precautions that protect against the virus.

In particular, the survey team member will not enter your home, and will pass you the kits whilst staying at least two metres away from everyone in the home. They will ask questions from this distance. If you prefer, they can also call you from their car to ask you the questions.

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2. How to make an appointment if you have a hearing impairment

If you have a hearing impairment and are unable to use the telephone, you can contact IQVIA by email at iqvia.covid19survey@nhs.net to make an appointment. You will need to provide your reference number in your email; you will find this in the top right-hand corner of your letter. Your reference number starts with the letters "COV". An adviser will then contact you to book you in for an appointment for a survey team member to visit your home to complete the study.

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3. What to expect when the nurse or study health worker arrives at your home

When the survey team member visits your home, they will first check that you still want to join the study and also ask if any other adults (aged 16 years or over) would like to join as well. We will ask anyone aged 16 years or over who wants to join to sign a consent form.

If an older child or teenager aged 10 to 15 years in your household wants to join the study, we will ask both them and their parent or carer to sign to say they are happy to be in the study. For younger children aged two to nine years, we will just ask their parent or carer to sign, but it is important that the child is also happy about this.

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4. Preparing for your appointment

Once you have made your appointment over the phone, there is nothing else for you to do. The survey team member will bring all necessary equipment with them to your home for the appointment.

Survey team members will still visit if anyone in your home is currently experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), self-isolating or shielding. The survey team member will not enter your home, and will pass you the self-swabbing and finger prick kits whilst staying at least two metres away from everyone in the home. They will ask the survey questions from this distance. It is important to visit these people to find out how many are infected or exposed to the virus.

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5. How long your appointment will take

The first appointment will take around 15 to 30 minutes per person.

If you continue to take part in the study, the appointment will take around 15 minutes per person

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6. Follow-up visits

You will also be asked whether you would be interested in repeating this visit. This is to see how exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) changes over time. You do not have to agree to continue to take part in the study. You could agree to:

A: the first visit only

B: the first visit and a visit every week for one month (five visits in total)

C: the first visit,  a visit every week for one month, and then monthly visits until the survey finishes (at least 6 visits in total); at the moment, the survey is running until April 2022, we will let you know if this changes

Follow-up visits will take around 15 minutes. Each visit involves the same questions and a throat and nose swab. If you agree to give blood the first time, we would like you to give blood again every month, but not at weeks one, two or three. You can decide on the day whether or not you want to give blood each time.

The survey is based on a representative sample of addresses and so if you move house, your participation in the survey will finish.

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7. Testing your nurse or study health worker for coronavirus (COVID-19)

All survey team members are offered routine tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19) before visiting your home. However, it is important to know that people can become infected even after a negative test. All survey team members will therefore follow the NHS recommendations about the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to use.

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