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Let people with COVID-19 symptoms get tested first

Covid-19 test

The people of Cheshire are being urged to only get a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test if they have symptoms of the virus.

There has been a huge increase in the number of people seeking a test for COVID-19, partly due to the return of schools and the testing of international travellers, which has put added strain on the laboratories processing the tests.

This has resulted in booking restrictions being placed on some testing sites.

Residents are being urged to only get a COVID-19 test if they have virus symptoms of a high fever, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell.

In the seven days up to September 5th 2020, there were 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cheshire West. This compares to 26 confirmed cases in the previous week (August 23-29).

Director of Public Health for Cheshire West Ian Ashworth said: "It is essential for people to get a test if they have symptoms or have been asked to do so by Test and Trace or healthcare professionals. Testing people with symptoms will help us stop the spread of the virus.

"Many of the people now seeking tests do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and it is those people we are asking to wait a little longer while the capacity in laboratories is developed nationally."

Rod Thomson, public health consultant for Cheshire East Council, agreed: “A vast amount of work has gone into delivering the testing infrastructure we need. There are, regional, local, satellite and mobile testing sites available for our residents and workers.

"The increase in people using those sites in the last few weeks has, however, meant that laboratories need even greater capacity to cope with the demand. Many of the people now seeking tests do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and it is those people we are asking to wait a little longer.

"As we manage this period of high demand, it is especially important that if individuals don’t have symptoms and have not specifically been advised to take a test, to stay away for now. We are asking people to do this as they could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it."

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get a test by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus

If you have symptoms and have been tested, play your part to protect your community by self-isolating for 10 days, or 14 days if alerted to do so by a contact tracer.

Key workers, frontline health and care staff and those in an outbreak area will continue to be tested whether they have symptoms or not. If there are outbreaks, booking restrictions will not be placed on mobile testing units to enable local management of a situation.

GP practices do not offer COVID-19 testing.