Director of Public Health issues guidance to Harlow residents on Covid-19 tests

Health / Mon 21st Sep 2020 at 10:53am

LAST week, we published a letter where a Harlow resident detailed the struggle her mother had in getting a Covid-19 test.

We sent the letter to Harlow MP, Robert Halfon and asked for his response.

Mr Halfon said:

“I have spoken to Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health in Essex and this is the advice I have been given for residents:

“It is CRUCIAL people with symptoms get a test. I recognise this currently not easy but it is really important people persist so we can find out who needs to isolate and who may have been in contact with them. We know currently not enough people who need a test are accessing one and we need to try and improve this.

“It is essential people who have NOT got symptoms do NOT access a test. A test is of no value as if negative it doesn’t mean the person wont get it if they have been exposed or even be incubating it there and then. These people are just blocking limited slots and there is no value or point to them knowing.

“Test slots are released each day but are booking up fast.  When a local site is full people are referred to the nearest available site which unfortunately has led to people being referred to distant sites. 

“Slots are released each day at 8 to 8.30 in the morning for that afternoon and 8 to 8.30 in the evening for the following morning. Calling or Emailing at that time is the best time to get a slot, late morning and early afternoon are likely to be bad times to try and get a slot.

“The postal test system is less predictable but again will open and close according to demand so several attempts to seek a test may be successful

“People can book either a local slot or a postal test on

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/  or by phoning 119

“There are a number of Mobile Testing Units locally and these currently visit Harlow around 3 times a week , the site is at HTS LTD, Mead Park Industrial Estate, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2SE

“There are also mobile sites at Epping, Upper Clacton RFC, Upland Road, Thornwood, CM16 6NL. There are others in Essex and Hertfordshire that may be accessible and there is the fixed site at Stansted”

I hope this is helpful

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