The range of locations and eligibility criteria for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing across Hertfordshire has been significantly extended...
The range of locations and eligibility criteria for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing across Hertfordshire has been significantly extended.
Anyone over the age of 5 displaying the three symptoms of COVID-19 – continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of sense of taste or smell – will be able to book a swab test at the drive-through or mobile test centres.
Tests were previously available to over-65s, key workers and to anyone who needs to work and cannot do so from home. They were also available to household members of those groups.
Testing arrangements are as follows:
For anyone over the age of five with active symptoms who have access to their own transport:
- tests at Stansted, Wembley and a range of other locations across the country can be booked online now via an online portal at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. These are available every day of the week.
- drive-through tests will be available
- on Thursday between 10am-4pm in Watford at the Central Watford Leisure Centre, WD17 3HA
- on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm in Hertford at County Hall, SG13 8DQ
- on Sundays between 10am-4pm in Watford at the Central Watford Leisure Centre, WD17 3HA
- on Mondays at 10am-4pm in Stevenage at Hertfordshire County Council’s office on Six Hills Way, SG1 2ST.
- To book a test, go online to www.gov.uk/coronavirus and enter your details. You will be sent a booking code. The booking system will only show you details of test locations which are available in the following 24hrs.
- This means that if you want to be tested on Sunday in Watford, you will need to apply on Saturday. If you want to be tested on Monday in Stevenage, you will need to apply on Sunday. A maximum of 250 tests can be conducted at each location. When you book online, other locations will also be available to choose.
For people who are within the first three days of having suspected symptoms who do not have access to their own transport: a mail-order test can be requested through www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For NHS, social care and care home or nursing home staff only:
- local drive-through testing is available at Howard Court in Welwyn Garden City and at Harpenden Memorial Hospital in Harpenden. This testing route is exclusively for NHS and social care staff and their household members, to enable front-line staff to return promptly to work if their test results are negative.
- From Thursday 30 April, transport will be provided to take staff who do not have access to a car to either Howard Court or Harpenden Memorial Hospital to be tested.
For care home residents
Testing is now in place for people with symptoms in care homes and nursing homes where there are two or more residents with suspected COVID-19 symptomatic residents. Tests are carried out within 24 hours and results are available within 72 hours.
If you do not have any access to the internet, or you have difficulty with the digital portals, you can call a new 119 service to book a test. More info at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
‘Test and Trace’
This means that if you have a test which shows that you have coronavirus, you will be contacted by someone from the NHS Test and Trace team. You will be told that you must self-isolate for 14 days and will be asked to supply the details of anyone you have been in close contact with, from the two days before your symptoms started. Those people will then also be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team and told that they need to self-isolate for 14 days.
If you receive a positive test result, or if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive, it is very important for your own health and the health of those around you that you self-isolate. This applies even if you feel well and don’t have any symptoms. You could still be a carrier of the virus and the people you meet could get the virus from you and be seriously affected.
Stopping COVID-19 from spreading is crucial to prevent more lives from being lost.
Genuine contract tracers will:
- call you from 0300 013 5000
- send you text messages from ‘NHS’
- ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
- ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
- ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
- ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with from the two days before your symptoms started
- ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England.
- Search online for ‘NHS Test and Trace – how it works’ for more information. You will never be asked to disclose bank details or ring an expensive phone number beginning with 09 or 087 by a genuine Test and Trace team member.