Advice on COVID-19 Testing

NHS Forth Valley’s Public Health team has issued advice, following a rapid rise in requests for COVID-19 tests.

Since schools went back recently there has been a significant increase in testing requests, particularly from parents concerned for their children.

Dr Jennifer Champion, Public Health Consultant, NHS Forth Valley, said: “In order to ensure we do everything we can to prevent a rise in cases, we need to remind people how the testing system works.

“Firstly, only people who have symptoms of COVID-19 need a test unless you are specifically advised to get tested by public health staff as part of the management of an outbreak. The symptoms are the onset of a persistent cough, or a temperature/fever or a loss of taste or smell. You only need one of these to be tested. You can book a test online via the NHS Inform website – or call 0800 028 2816 if you do not have access to the internet.

“It’s also important to highlight that while family members need to self-isolate if someone in their household has developed symptoms and received a positive test, accessing a test will not change the need to self-isolate or reduce the period of isolation even if their test result is negative.

“Another important point is if you do develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are ill and are worried about your health, you should call NHS 24 on 111. Please do not call NHS 24 unless you feel you need medical advice to deal with your illness as advice and information is available on NHS Inform.

“It’s also important that parents do NOT take their children to an Emergency Department or GP practice for a test as this could increase the risk to others.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of continuing to following the national guidance to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to themselves and others as we enter this next phase in the fight against the virus. These include physical distancing indoors and outdoors, washing your hands regularly and using any hand gel provided and arranging to get tested if you develop any of the symptoms.”