Posted: 13.09.20 at 09:59 by Lincolnshire County Council
The testing needs of parts of the country with high rates of infection are being prioritised over the request for appointments in areas like Lincolnshire, which has a relatively low infection rate.
Some residents who are displaying symptoms may be unable to book a test due to these pressures.
It's important if you're displaying symptoms that you self-isolate and continue to try booking a test through the normal online booking system or through 119. You should also tell your close contacts you've been mixing with to self-isolate.
National teams are working hard to bring more laboratory capacity into use to ensure we meet demand.
People with symptoms absolutely must come forward to get a test as this will help stop the spread of the virus.
As this period of high demand is managed, it's especially important that if individuals don’t have symptoms, and have not specifically been advised to take a test, they should not be coming forward for a test because they could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it.
A recent survey at testing sites suggests around a quarter of people who have accessed tests did not have symptoms.
Continue following the guidance and advice:
The main symptoms of coronavirus 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 one of these symptoms.
Do not stockpile tests – there is plenty of stock and if you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test.
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. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on gov.uk.
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.
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.
Care home testing is continuing to be prioritised - more than 100,000 tests a day have been issued to care homes across the country.
Testing kits have been sent to care homes for older people and people with dementia who have registered for regular retesting kits. In addition, all other care homes have been able to place orders for test kits. Where an outbreak has been identified, all staff and residents are tested as a priority, with all those who test negative being tested again 4-7 days later.