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Lateral flow tests still available at selected pharmacies

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People in Dudley can still take advantage of symptom free Covid-19 testing in Dudley borough, with extended appointment times now available at some test centres.

Essential and key workers and those who leave home for valid reasons can take a lateral flow test at participating pharmacies, Dudley Leisure Centre and Saltwells Education Centre.

In order to qualify for a test, a person must be an essential or key worker who lives or works in the borough or someone who cannot follow the ‘stay at home’ directive. They must also be completely symptom free.

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.

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.

People who are feeling well with no symptoms can go to Saltwells Education Centre from 9.15am to 4.15pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. At Dudley Leisure Centre appointments can be booked for 7.45am to 7.30pm from Tuesday to Saturdays.

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.

Essential workers who are not able to stay at home are being encouraged to access the lateral flow testing offer twice a week wherever possible. Essential workers include people who cannot work from home such as those based in essential shops, childminders and nursery staff, engineers, care workers and construction workers.

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

People have been directed to stay at home to help stop the spread.
While our cases are slowly falling, it is still very important that everyone follows these rules, especially with the South African strain having been detected in other parts of Birmingham and the Black Country.
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.

Dudley borough is one of a growing number of areas where is it also recommended that people with other symptoms seek a standard covid-19 test to help slow the spread of the virus. Any adult who lives or works in the borough and has a headache, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no good reason, a sore throat, a runny nose or sneezing episodes can now be tested. Children with upset stomachs or tummy ache can also book a standard covid test. People in this group should not attend for a lateral flow test.

Lateral flow tests only measure if someone is infectious at that point in time. If anyone has a 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.

To find out which pharmacies are taking part or to book a test at a pharmacy visit https://www.1centralhealth.co.uk/covidscreen

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

ENDS

How the test works:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/08/lateral-flow-testing-new-rapid-tests-to-detect-covid-19/

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