Access to free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing is now available to everyone across Herefordshire from today (9 April).
Rapid lateral flow testing for people without symptoms has so far been available to selected groups, however will now be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks.
Herefordshire Public Health Consultant Sarah Smith said: “We know that one in three people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, and have the potential to spread the virus without even knowing it. Rapid testing can detect positive cases that would not otherwise have been found, and I encourage everyone to make use of the new free rapid tests, which are quick, easy and convenient.”
Regular rapid testing for people without symptoms is available by:
- Booking a test at one of the Herefordshire Council-run testing sites or community pharmacies. You must be aged 18 and over;
- Collecting a home testing kit at one of the Herefordshire Council-run testing sites or at a participating local pharmacy. You must be aged 18 and over to collect the kits, however kits can be used by any age group;
- A home ordering service, which allows you to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to your home.
If testing at home, you will need to register results online or by calling NHS 119. You should self-isolate if the result shows as positive and order a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 - a new continuous cough, high temperature, change or loss of smell and/or taste – should book a test online or by calling NHS 119.
Sarah Smith added: “Although progress is being made, there are still substantial risks, and alongside making use of testing services and taking up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are notified, the best way of keeping yourself and others safe is by following the Hands, Face, Space guidance that has been in place throughout the pandemic.”
To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.
- Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
- Fresh Air – only meet those not in your household or bubble outdoors, whilst following the rule of six / two households.
- Vaccination – take up COVID-19 vaccination when you are invited to do so.