Access to Covid-19 tests in Worcestershire

image of dr. kathryn cobain Published Monday, 14th September 2020

As we begin to see a rise in Covid-19 numbers, find out the latest information on getting access to Covid-19 tests in Worcestershire.

Access to Covid-19 tests in Worcestershire

Worcestershire, like the rest of the country is seeing a rise in the number of people who are trying to book a test for Covid-19.

This is putting pressure on the system, and some people are finding it difficult to book a test locally.

We know that part of the demand is coming from people who do not need a test.

There are very specific reasons to have a test and these are; a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Unless you have been medically advised or advised by the local authority to get a test, or have one of more of the symptoms of Covid, you should not book a test. You are taking away a test from someone who may need it.

The Director for Public Health in Worcestershire, Dr. Kathryn Cobain, said: “ Testing is available to anyone who has a symptom of Covid-19. It is not a “ just in case” facility. The tests will identify if a person has Covid at the time of testing, and should only be given to people who are showing symptoms of the virus.

If you are struggling to book a test, please self-isolate, don’t mix with others and keep trying to book a test. Availability in the county is updated regularly, so please don’t give up. And don’t book a test unless you have a symptom, please keep tests available for those who really need them. “

If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested and the rest of the household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results.

If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. The vast majority of people who are tested in person get their results the very next day. We are aware that some test results are taking longer, due to the increase in people being tested.

If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you won’t go on to develop the virus. That means you could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people.

If you have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online or by ringing 119. We have been seeing more people trying to ring 111 about testing but we need to make sure that 111 is protected for people who are ringing about other medical and health issues.

For Schools:

Schools have been issued with guidance on testing and the advice for parents and teachers. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms.

If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.

ENDS

 

For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the Council's Communications team on 01905 766646 or email commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk