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Health Blog: Positive or negative and what to do next...

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

I want to start my message to you this week with a thank you to everybody who has supported Wirral’s symptom-free testing effort, launched last week. Whether you’ve been and got tested, returned for your repeat test, supported our staff, helped us set up or spread the word to friends and family.

Currently, more than 16,000 symptom-free tests have been taken by people who live and work in our borough to help contain the virus.

So, this week, I want to cover some of the crucial next steps following a symptom-free test at one of our sites by answering some of your questions…

 

What happens if I test negative at a symptom-free site?

If you receive a negative result, you must continue to follow the protective measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus. This is because testing should be seen as an additional protective measure, and not a replacement for:

Hands. Face. Space.

As most of us know by now this means good hand washing, wearing face coverings in appropriate places and keeping our distance from those outside our household and/or bubble.

If you test negative, please remember to come back and see us for another test every 5-7 days or so, so that you can do your bit to help Keep Wirral Well.

 

What if I test positive?

If you receive a positive result, you and your household/bubble must self-isolate (stay home) and arrange a test called a ‘PCR’ test at one of Wirral’s symptoms-only testing sites to confirm if you are infected with the virus.

To book your PCR test, please visit www.wirral.gov.uk/test or call 119. There are test sites at Birkenhead, Bebington, Liscard and Heswall.

  • If your PCR test result is negative, you and your close contacts will no longer need to self-isolate. But, you will still need to follow protective measures which means: Hands. Face. Space.
  • *If the confirmatory PCR test comes back positive, then you must continue to isolate for 10 days since your initial ‘lateral flow’ test. Everyone in your household will be a ‘close contact’ and must also self-isolate for 10 days.
  • If your PCR test is positive you will be contacted by NHS Test & Trace to complete contact tracing and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

I haven’t received my result yet – what should I do?

You should receive your result notification anywhere from 30 minutes after completing the test up to a few hours. If you haven’t received your results within four hours of being tested, please call 119.

 

What if I develop coronavirus symptoms at any time, where can I get tested?

If you have coronavirus symptoms, a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss of or change to your sense of taste and or smell, you must self-isolate and book a test at one of our symptoms-only testing centres via www.wirral.gov.uk/test or by phoning 119.

You must not attend the symptom-free sites if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.

You can stay up to date with the latest information via www.wirral.gov.uk/test.

 

Thanks for reading and please, stay safe.

Julie.

 

If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you may be entitled to £500 under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. You must apply within 14 days of your last day self-isolating. For more information visit www.wirral.gov.uk/covidpayment or call Wirral’s coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050.

You may also wish to visit: www.wirralinfobank.co.uk for the latest community, health and support services.