I would really encourage Worcestershire residents to make the most of the further expansion of the Coronavirus testing programme.
As testing capacity has massively increased, the Government made an announcement yesterday that testing is now available to all over 65s and members of their households, if they have symptoms, and any worker who needs to leave their home to go to work and their households, if they have symptoms. This means that construction workers, emergency plumbers, research scientists and shopkeepers are amongst those who can now be tested, along with anyone they live with.
The Government has also included social care workers and residents in care homes as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes and to further investigate outbreaks. For this reason, social care workers and residents can be tested with or without symptoms. NHS workers can be tested with symptoms, and without if there is a clinical need.
The new expansion of testing will help protect our most vulnerable, our healthcare staff and will help keep people safe. Please remember that the two main symptoms of Coronavirus are a new, continuous cough and a fever. If you have either of these symptoms, and you fit the criteria above, then you can visit here and book yourself a test in the nearest testing centre (which for my constituents is the Warriors Stadium).
You and your household need to self-isolate from the time you or someone in the household starts showing symptoms. This means that you should get your shopping delivered, stay inside and should not take visitors. If the test is positive, self-isolate for 7 days and others in the household will need to isolate for 14 days – if others in the household get symptoms towards the end of their 14 day period of isolation then unfortunately they will need to isolate for a further 7 days. Have a look at the guidance here. If the test is negative, you should wait until you are well enough, and your temperature has been back to normal for 2 days and anyone you live with also tests negative, before returning to work.
The nearest drive through centre to our area is the Warriors Stadium in Worcester – the team have generously allowed access to the stadium in the fight against this pandemic. The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat and can be self-administered and instructions will be given on how to take a good and effective swab when you arrive at the test centre.
We need to take responsibility in this pandemic to make sure we are not accidentally endangering our grandparents, parents, friends or any vulnerable person. If you feel unwell and your symptoms fit those of COVID-19 and you have to leave home to go to work, or you’re over 65, then please register for a test. The process is simple and by making sure that those who are ill stay isolated, we can better control the spread of Coronavirus, we can protect the NHS and we can save lives.
Visit the government website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus to register for a test at your nearest test centre.