Since testing for COVID-19 first became available in Northamptonshire in May last year, the range and volume of testing sites has increased significantly.
There are now many options available to the public to seek testing, so the Public Health team at Northamptonshire County Council have produced the following summary of testing options, to make access to testing easier for the public.
Testing for people without symptoms
Asymptomatic testing (testing for those with no symptoms), is now a regular part of many people's lives, enabling employees to continue attending work, with the added reassurance that they are less likely to be placing others at risk. This is known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing, and provides a result within 30 minutes.
It is important to note that a negative test result from an LFD test is not an absolute guarantee that you do not have COVID-19. Therefore, you must still carry out thorough and regular hand washing, maintain 2 metre social distancing outside of your household and wear face coverings where required to do so.
Currently, those who are eligible for asymptomatic testing include anyone who is unable to work from home, secondary school pupils, HE and FE students and those in support bubbles with children in education or childcare settings. Testing for people who are eligible is available via three main routes:
Workplace LFD Testing
Businesses can also order test kits for their workforce on the link below if their business is registered in England and if their employees cannot work from home.Order test kits for the workplace
Regular lateral flow testing is available to educational settings to ensure that staff of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities and all secondary school pupils and college students have access to regular testing. Children of primary school age or younger are not tested at this time.
Community LFD Testing Centres
Across Northamptonshire, there are now six different Community testing sites, two in Corby, and one each in Wellingborough, Brackley, Northampton and Daventry, with more opening soon.
Testing slots for these centres must be booked online in advance
Collection of LFD Home-Testing Kits
Anyone eligible for regular LFD testing (who isn't already getting tested at work or at school) can also choose to test at home instead. Individuals can collect 2 packs of home test kits at a local collection point. Each pack contains 7 tests. The person collecting these kits must be 18 or over.
Please do not visit a collection point outside of opening hours, as it may be used to test people with coronavirus symptoms outside these times.
Testing for people with symptoms
Anyone displaying symptoms of Coronavirus; a high temperature, a loss of or change in taste or smell and/or a new continuous cough, should seek to get a test at a local testing site or mobile testing unit. Book a test online or by calling 119. Home test kits can also be ordered through these methods, providing it is ordered within the first seven days of having symptoms.
Individuals are reminded to travel straight to and from the test centre, avoiding the use of any facilities to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. A result should be provided within 48 hours, during which time the person should self-isolate.
Dr Rhosyn Harris, Consultant in Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council said:
We are delighted to have a great range of testing options for residents and employees across Northamptonshire, to help us in the fight against COVID-19.
Asymptomatic testing is likely to become a regular feature for many of us, and increasing availability of this testing enables us to be reassured that we are finding the small number of positives cases that may not have symptoms of the virus. This means we can cut transmission, ensure those cases complete their 10 day self-isolation period, whilst keeping the rest of the workplace safe."