Public message about Covid testing

25 August 2020

NHSGGC’s Public Health team has made an appeal, following a rapid rise in requests for Covid-19 tests.

Since schools went back recently there has been a sharp spike in testing requests, particularly from parents concerned for their children.

Dr Linda de Caestecker said: “In order to ensure we do everything we can to prevent a rise in cases, we need to remind people how the testing system works.

“Firstly, only people who are symptomatic need a test unless you are explicitly asked to get a test by public health as part of the management of an outbreak. The symptoms are the onset of a persistent cough, or a temperature/fever or a loss of taste or smell. You only need one of these to be tested. This can be done by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting the NHS Inform website –  You do not need to call NHS 24 to organise a test.

“I also want to stress that while family members need to self-isolate if someone in their household develops symptoms, they do not need to be tested unless they themselves go on to develop symptoms.  If you are contacted by Test and Protect to tell you that you are a close contact of somebody with Covid-19, you do not require a test but you must isolate for 14 days.  A test will not change the need to self-isolate.

“Another important point is if you do develop Covid symptoms and are ill and are worried about your health, you should call NHS 24 on 111. Please do not call NHS 24 unless you feel you need medical advice to deal with your illness.

“I want to thanks everyone for their continued patience with the system. We all need to work together as we enter this next phase in the fight against the virus.”