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Lateral flow tests still at selected pharmacies

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Key workers and those who leave home for valid reasons can still book symptom free covid-19 tests in Dudley borough.

The symptom-free, lateral flow tests are available at participating pharmacies and Saltwells Education Centre for people who qualify.

In order to qualify a person must be a key worker who lives or works in the borough. People who live or work in the borough and cannot follow the ‘stay at home’ directive for one of the permitted reasons can also seek a test.

Tests can be booked online and people get results in 20 to 30 minutes. People will still need to swab their nose and throat, but the results are much faster than the standard test which goes to a lab.

Residents who are visiting a loved one in a care home should have their test done directly before the visit and in accordance with guidance from the care home.

Key workers who are not able to stay at home are being encouraged to access the lateral flow testing offer twice a week wherever possible.

The tests are being offered as part of a national pilot scheme, which is being delivered by more than 20 community pharmacies in the borough through the Dudley Local Pharmaceutical Committee in partnership with Central Health Solutions Limited.

Karen Wright, director of Public Health in Dudley borough, said:

The government has issued a stay at home directive, this is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.
For those who cannot stay at home, getting a symptom-free test helps to reduce the risk of transmission and will help slow the spread of coronavirus but it will not eliminate the risks.
The tests must be used in conjunction with personal protective equipment and we all still need to remember hands, face, space and maintain social distancing whatever the result.

The tests are available by appointment only and are for people who are completely symptom free. Anyone displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus - a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to their sense of smell,or are feeling unwell– must book a standard covid test at one of the borough’s four testing sites which continue to operate by visiting www.nhs.co.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care said:

We will be most successful if we all continue to follow the stay at home directive and remember to act as though we or anyone we come into contact with could have the virus.
These tests are quick and simple to do and people get their results really quickly. So if you have to leave home for the permitted reasons, taking one of these tests when you are symptom free may help to break the chain of the virus and reduce transmission.

Lateral flow tests only measure if someone is infectious at that point in time. If anyone has negative test and goes on to develop any symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and arrange a standard test at one of the borough’s four testing sites.

Anyone who has a positive test must self-isolate immediately and follow the advice given by the local contact tracing team or the national test and trace service. It is vital that people identify contacts to help stop the spread of the virus.

Anyone who has had a confirmed positive result for COVID must not book a symptom free test until after 90 days from the date of the positive result.

For more information on Dudley borough test sites visit www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirustesting

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