Coronavirus: Different types of COVID-19 testing explained
Even though legal restrictions have been lifted, testing for COVID-19 is still a key measure to stop the spread of the virus in Shropshire.
Everyone should be testing but it’s important to know which test to take and when.
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are for people with symptoms of coronavirus, and rapid LFTs (lateral flow tests) are for people without.
If you have any of these COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild, you should get a PCR test as soon as possible:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
You can also get a PCR if:
- you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
- you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
- a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
- you’re taking part in a government pilot project
- you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
- you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
- you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms
- you’re in the National Tactical Response Group.
People without symptoms are encouraged to test twice a week using a Lateral Flow Test. These are free and are widely available in Shropshire – click here to find your nearest collection point – or can be ordered online.
You can do these tests at home and you will get a result in around 30 minutes. All results – positive, negative or void – should then be uploaded on the government website. This will allow the NHS to monitor the spread.
For full details about testing in Shropshire visit our website.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:
Testing, along with the vaccine, is a really important measure in stopping the rapid flow of the virus. You may feel perfectly well but around 1 in 3 people with the virus don’t have symptoms, and while you may not become seriously ill, you could potentially pass it onto someone who will.
We have a lot of vulnerable people here in Shropshire and we want to keep everyone as safe as possible. Testing is key and we should make it part of our everyday lives – regardless if you have been vaccinated or not.
If you do have symptoms, no matter how mild, you must self-isolate and get a PCR test. Please do not rely on a rapid test – it must be a PCR.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for public health, added:
Testing is simple, free and easy to do. We all need to continue to play our part in preventing the spread of the virus in Shropshire.
If you test positive you must self-isolate and I know that is a worrying time for some people but there is help available. If you are worried about how you will manage, you may be eligible for a support payment of up to £500. If you don’t qualify, there are other ways we can help.
To find out about the test and trace support payment click here or call on 0345 678 9002.
If you do not qualify, call us on 0345 678 9078 and one of our advisers will help you explore what other grant help is available.