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Getting tested for COVID-19: FAQs
Where can I get a test for COVID-19 in Gloucestershire?
The most recent information on testing is available on the Gloucestershire County Council website, including the location of Mobile Testing Units (see https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/covid-19-information-and-advice/mobile-testing-unit-locations/) and this is updated at least once a week.
How can I get a test for COVID-19?
You need to book a test via the government portal at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. It is not possible to attend either the Regional Test at Hempsted, Gloucester or any of our mobile testing site locations without having previously booked a test. Only those who have booked an appointment will currently get tested.
Who can get a test for COVID-19?
You should only request testing via any route if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, sense of smell or taste) and if in any doubt go through 119 who can assess you and if needed allocate a place on the most appropriate testing route.. Please note, if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to access a test and should isolate for 14 days, unless you develop symptoms yourself.
What if I am unable to get a test?
As you will be aware, there is currently an issue with nationwide laboratory capacity and as a result the number of tests that testing sites are able to offer is restricted. This is a national issue and has been featured in the news for the last few days. The message we have been provided with from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is:
“We are currently experiencing high levels of demand across the testing network. We are allocating testing capacity based of areas of greatest need, such as prioritising areas of high prevalence, and we continue to expand testing capacity doubling the daily COVID-19 testing capacity to 500,000 by the end of October. We are closely managing the availability of test appointments in line with our ability to process tests and return a result. Whilst we build our laboratory capacity, we will continue to manage this closely to ensure that symptomatic individuals are able to access testing.”
If you meet the criteria and are having difficulty getting a test, we ask that you keep checking the portal as new tests are being released throughout the day as capacity becomes available.
Who should I contact if I have any questions about booking at test?
Testing is run by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), so any comments or concerns you have should be sent to them so they can look into them. Call 119 or email OpsHub@dhsc.gov.uk
¹ The above data reflects nationally published data available here.
² This section contains information on deaths of patients who have died in hospitals in Gloucestershire and had tested positive for Covid-19 at time of death or where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. All deaths are recorded against the date of death rather than the date the deaths were announced. It is based on national NHS data published here.
³ Weekly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales for which data are available. From 31 March 2020 these figures also show the number of deaths involving coronavirus (Covid-19), based on any mention of Covid-19 on the death certificate. Figures by place of death may differ to previously published figures due to improvements in the way we code place of death. This figure does not include deaths of those resident outside England and Wales or those records where the place of residence is either missing or not yet fully coded. For this reason counts may differ to published figures when summed. Bank Holidays could affect the number of registrations made within those weeks.
⁴ Care homes vary in size and in the characteristics of their residents. Outbreak data is also being reported publicly here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/covid-19-number-of-outbreaks-in-care-homes-management-information. The figures here are slightly lower than our local figures due to a time lag. The number of cases (confirmed or suspected) has not been reported due to limitations in data accuracy which means comparison is not possible. This information is being used for operational purposes. As testing in care homes increases we will review whether adding this information will add additional strategic insight.
⁵ CQC publish figures on deaths where Covid-19 was suspected in the notification from the care home, as well as all cause mortality (since 10 April 2020). It is probable that not all deaths due to Covid-19 will be notified as such, conversely Covid-19 may be mentioned but not have been a contributory factor in a death). While CQC numbers are more comprehensive than local reporting, they are not currently reported by district council.
⁶ Please note that there is a possibility of last minute changes if the MTU’s are diverted to assist with outbreak control both in this county or elsewhere.