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Cambridge team facilitates shop opening with comprehensive COVID-19 testing programme and wellness app

Published: 27 August 2020 - Neil Mead

Experts based in Cambridge have launched a new company, ReCoVa-19, after developing an affordable, highly accurate and bespoke COVID-19 testing and wellness programme that allows businesses to protect their employees and therefore shoppers. ReCoVa-19 programmes can identify asymptomatic spreaders (those with disease but no symptoms) and pre-symptomatic spreaders (those infected but yet to show symptoms) - both are groups that the current routine government testing programmes do not identify.

Dr Tony Cooke
Dr Tony Cooke

ReCoVa-19 offers employers options – either a completely proactive solution, testing for COVID-19 infection and immunity, with ongoing onsite monitoring, or to monitor health and provide reactive testing for suspect infections. The programme uses a UKAS accredited ISO15189 laboratory which is also serving NHS Covid testing needs, backed by a management portal that allows confidential paperless handling of all data.

The programme offers a daily wellness symptom checker app with a 15 second employee check in. Symptoms are flagged up in the management portal and antigen testing (for active infection) is provided for suspect cases.  This level of testing can continue over time for teams and individuals. The Company also offers antibody tests within MHRA guidelines. The third level of testing is environmental (looking for virus on surfaces) to ensure that cleaning practices are completely effective and commensurate with the challenge.

Even before its official launch, the team attracted the interest of occupational health companies, production companies, film crews and travel companies keen to do business safely in the ‘new normal’ environment. The programmes are now being actively used across those sectors.

The senior management team behind ReCoVa-19 has 150 years of combined experience in this area and includes lead scientist Dr Tony Cooke, who is also Chief Executive Officer at Cambridge Clinical Laboratories, Andrew Halliday, an authority on health and wellness apps, particularly in the travel sector, and Clive Minihan, who has 30 years’ experience with technology start-ups. The Chair is Professor Stephen K Smith, who has held senior positions in the NHS and Imperial College, London.

Tony explains the rationale for the testing programme, “The nation needs everyone to be safely back at work and retailers – whether essential or non-essential – are facing a great deal of concern over how to protect their staff. Concerns over health and safety and uncertainty, are significant barriers when it comes to staffing shops and also in encouraging shoppers to return to the high street. It’s a problem we can help solve with best practice testing programmes.”

The experts at ReCoVa-19 are able to make a bespoke recommendation for any workplace, taking into account specific risk factors. The portal allows managers to see all the results at a glance while ensuring the data is kept secure and confidential. Tony says that the ‘fair value’ ethos of ReCoVa-19 also ensures that its programmes are accessible for retail outlets and businesses of all types and sizes.

Employers or business owners can find more information about the programme at or contact an expert at to discuss their individual needs.


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