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Basildon residents first in Essex to get fast testing for Covid-19 for those without symptoms

Health / Tue 8th Dec 2020 at 08:20am

FROM (Monday, 7th December, 2020), residents in Basildon without symptoms of Covid-19 will be the first in Essex to be able to book new fast tests to check if they have the virus.

 

Basildon’s Covid-19 infection rate is currently among the highest in England and continues to rise fast, so the borough is the first place in Essex to offer the new Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population, which give results in around 30 minutes.

Residents living in the Fryerns, Pitsea, Vange and Wickford areas of Basildon, where infection rates are the highest, are the first in the borough being invited to book tests from today on 01268 962383, 01268 962384, 01702 742172 or 01702 742173. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

Leaflets will also be distributed to these districts beginning this week inviting people to attend for tests, and people will be invited to book via the telephone lines above.

These tests will be carried out at the Towngate Theatre, St. Martins Square, Basildon, SS14 1DL, from Tuesday 8th December onwardsThis testing centre has capacity for 400 people to be tested each day.

The tests are ONLY for people for who do not have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

The Essex Test and Trace Service has already begun to refer the contacts of people who have tested positive for the new fast tests to the Towngate LFT centre. 

GP surgeries in Basildon will also be contacting residents from today to offer LFT testing.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “If you live in any of these four areas of Basildon, it is essential that you go for one of these new tests, even if you are well.

“Infection rates in Basildon are now among the highest in the country, and local NHS services are coming under strain as a result.

“We MUST ensure that the brilliant staff at Basildon Hospital can continue to work for everyone. 

“Testing people who feel well will help identify the hidden cases in the community – people who may be unwittingly infecting others. If you test positive with one of the new fast tests, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test to confirm the initial result.

“This will really help us double down on Covid-19 and through people self-isolating now, help everyone enjoy Christmas, as the self-isolation period for both identified new cases and their contacts will be up before Christmas.”

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “We are utterly determined to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Basildon.

“Targeted testing programmes, starting in the worst affected areas and already being rolled out in schools in the borough, are how we will do this. 

“Testing and self-isolation will do more than any other weapon in our armoury to limit the spread. No-one wants further restrictions or lockdowns. 

“Playing your part now means, along with following social distancing rules, going for a test if you live in an area which is being asked to do so.”

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Lateral Flow Test (LFT) Frequently Asked Questions:

Where and how do I book a test?

Basildon’s LFT centre is at the Towngate Theatre, St. Martins Square, Basildon SS14 1DL

Residents in Fryerns (SS14), Pitsea (SS13), Vange (SS16) and Wickford (SS11 and SS12) are being invited to book tests first. These postcodes are a guide only.

You MUST book by calling 01268 962383, 01268 962384, 01702 742172 or 01702 742173. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

When should I book a test?

You should do so as soon as possible. 

Who can get a test?

Anyone who doesn’t have symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should book a test via NHS Test and Trace. You can find their details at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Who shouldn’t get a test?

Anyone who has recently received a positive test result or who is currently self-isolating.

Can I get a test if I do not live in the worst affected parts of Basildon?

Fast Lateral Flow Tests are only currently available to people living in Basildon and are being initially offered to those living in the areas of the borough worst affected by Covid-19. They will be rolled out to wider areas of Basildon very shortly.

What sort of test will I take?

You will receive a Lateral Flow Test, which gives a result in 30 minutes. Someone will be with you to help ensure you perform the test properly. It involves taking a swab from your throat/nose. 

What happens if I test positive?

If you test positive, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test (known as a PCR test) to confirm the result of the first test.

What happens if I test negative?

You must remember to continue to follow guidance on social distancing, keep 2m from other people, and remember – Hands Face Space

What if I can’t work and lose income because I need to self-isolate?

If you’re on a low income and you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you may be able to get a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Find out more:

Further questions? 

Go to www.essex.gov.uk/coronavirus  

If you need further help and support, the Essex Wellbeing Service can help.

Contact them at www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk or on 0300 303 9988

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