COMMUNITY Covid testing for people in Hartlepool who don’t have symptoms of the virus is starting tomorrow (Wednesday) and people are being encouraged to play their part by getting a test.
Up to a third of people with Covid don’t have any symptoms and so can spread it without knowing, so testing as many people as possible to find out if they have Covid and then helping them to self-isolate if they do is an important way of fighting the virus and bringing it under control.
Testing will take place at Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road. Anyone who is aged-18 or over who lives or works in Hartlepool and who does not have Covid symptoms can get a test and is encouraged to do so (except people who are shielding).
Particularly encouraged to get a test are those people who are unable to work from home, come into contact with the public and have no access to other rapid testing – for example taxi drivers, tradespeople, carers, social workers and nursery staff, etc.
Tests must be booked in advance - you can't just turn up. People can book a test now at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/community-testing or by calling 01429 523330.
People don’t have to get a test, but the more people who come along and get tested, the faster Hartlepool can bring virus case numbers down.
The testing centre at Mill House Leisure Centre is only for people who don’t have Covid symptoms.
People must not come to the testing centre if they have any of the Covid symptoms, including: A high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.
If people have any Covid symptoms they must self-isolate and book a different test straight away at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
The test at Mill House is simple and quick and involves people coming along to the testing centre, where they will be given a swab and sent to a sample collection booth.
They will be asked to take a swab of their tonsils (or where they would have been at the back of their throat) as well as one nostril. It’s simple to do and trained staff will be on hand to explain how to do it.
The test only takes a few minutes and people will usually get their result back within half an hour, by text. People will also be given advice on what to do if their test comes back positive.
Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “At a time when Hartlepool is battling extremely high rates of Covid, I would appeal to everyone to please play their part by getting a test.
“Those we would particularly encourage to get a test are people who are unable to work from home, come into contact with the public and have no access to other rapid testing, such as taxi drivers, tradespeople, carers, social workers and nursery staff, for example.
“The more people who get tested, the quicker we can bring COVID cases down in Hartlepool.”