Coronavirus - Community testing
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature or a new continuous cough or a change to your sense of taste or smell) you must self-isolate and book a test via NHS Test and Trace or by calling 119. You will be given a testing slot at one of the symptomatic testing sites operated in Warwickshire or surrounding areas by the Department of Health and Social Care.
If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms the Government would like you to take a test twice a week, roughly 3-4 days apart.
This is part of a wider Government strategy to tackle the virus.
ALL TESTING IS FREE.
Community testing is only for people with no symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic). It uses lateral flow antigen testing, which is easy to use and gives results in around an hour. The purpose of community testing is to pick up infections early, or where there are no obvious symptoms. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Lateral flow antigen testing is recommended by the Department for Health and Social Care for use in people with no symptoms and who would otherwise not be tested for COVID-19.
The test detects the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus.
Lateral flow antigen testing has undergone extensive clinical evaluation and has been judged to be accurate and sensitive enough for asymptomatic community testing. As with all types of test it is not 100% accurate so a person testing negative can still be infectious. It is therefore vital to continue to maintain national guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face coverings, and limit contact with others where possible.
Who is the community test for?
During lockdown, people with no symptoms and who are required to work outside their home in contact with others should aim to take a test twice a week, roughly 3-4 days apart. Occupational groups particularly recommended for testing during lockdown include:
- Essential shops; supermarkets; financial services
- Early years; childcare; education
- Food production; food processing
- Manufacturing; warehousing; packing; distribution
- Essential public sector services (e.g. waste, Police, security)
- Construction; utilities; communication
- Agency worker
- Health or social care
People are encouraged to use workplace testing programmes where they exist (such as in schools and care homes).
Children aged 2-16 can take a test but must be accompanied onsite by a parent/carer, who will administer and supervise the test. Children aged 2-10 can take a lateral flow test if they have no symptoms, but they are not recommended by Public Health England.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people should follow Government advice and remain at home wherever possible and avoid coming into contact with others to limit transmission opportunities.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable or mask exempt and you judge you need to attend for a test, please identify your status to the queue manager.