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30 Jul 2018, 11:16
This week the COVID-19 testing service in Hertfordshire has been expanded to include even more people who may have developed coronavirus.
From Monday 18 May, the government extended the criteria for COVID-19 testing. Now anyone aged over five years old who is in the first few days of having suspected symptoms can have a test.
In addition, another symptom has been added to the list of signs that someone might have contracted coronavirus. As well as a new continuous cough or a high temperature, a loss of, or change in a person’s normal sense of taste or smell has been included.
Tests are effective if people are swabbed in the first three days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms. They cannot detect whether somebody has had coronavirus in the past.
To book a test, go online to www.gov.uk/coronavirus and enter your details. You will be sent a booking code. The booking system will only show you details of test locations which are available in the following 24hrs.
When all the available tests slots have been booked at a particular test site, that location will not appear on the national list. Additional capacity is added regularly, so check-in on the website throughout the day if you are not successful at booking a local drive-through or mail-order test the first time you try.
Hertfordshire mobile test sites are all open between 10am and 4pm and are now as follows:
· on Thursdays in Watford at the Central Watford leisure centre, WD17 3HA
· on Saturdays in Hertford at County Hall, Pegs Lane, SG13 8DQ
· on Sundays in Watford at the Central Watford leisure centre, WD17 3HA
· on Mondays in Stevenage, off Six Hills Way, SG1 2DF. Please follow the signs to the test centre, to ensure that you do not join a queue for the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Please bring a mobile phone to the test centre if you have one. Drive-through tests are available at a range of other locations on different days of the week across the country. Book online or order a mail order test via www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
People will have heard about the ‘test, trace and isolate’ programme that the government is planning to introduce nationally. We will share information about how this will work locally here in Hertfordshire, when things become clearer.
The antibody test for NHS and social care staff has also been on the news. Again, this is something that we will provide more information on when we have the details.