Community Testing provides free and quick Covid-19 tests that people are asked to take on a weekly basis to help stop the spread of the virus.
There are now sites open at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton and Brockwell Park close to Herne Hill – with a new site at Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington opening on Monday, February 1, and a fourth opening at Streatham Library in Streatham on Wednesday, February 3.
Appointments must be booked online at lambethbooking.sishost.co.uk/OnlineBookings/. The site at the Brixton Windmill will no longer be run to ensure a better borough wide spread of locations.
So far in Lambeth more than 9,000 tests had been carried out, and with a combination of more sites and longer opening hours the council has the potential to carry out up to 10,000 rapid tests per week.
This work remains a high priority with Lambeth’s infection rate extremely high at 565.7 infections per 100,000 people as of Monday, January 25.
Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth’s joint Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Coronavirus infection rates in the borough are heading in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go and rates remain incredibly high. The pressure on the NHS is huge and we must all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus.
“So I welcome the expansion of community testing and ask that people who are exempt from the stay at home restrictions for work and other reasons please get tested on a weekly basis. It’s a quick, free and easy test with results back very quickly.”
If people have Covid-19 symptoms they still need to should book a test through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. The symptoms are a high temperature (fever), a new continuous cough, and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
What to bring with you to the appointment
You should bring:
- Confirmation of your booking – the confirmation email on your mobile device or printed out
- A mobile device to scan a QR or bar code on the test. There will be devices available if you don’t have your own
- A face covering (unless you are exempt)
- You may also want to bring a bottle of water, as we cannot provide water at the test site.
- Do plan ahead – there are no toilet facilities at the test site
How the test works
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. You can do the swab yourself, but there will be trained staff available if you need support. You can watch this video for a detailed explanation of the procedure.
Once you have finished, the swab will be processed and analysed. Once the test is done, the swab is discarded.
The rapid test is called a ‘lateral flow test’ – it does not need to be sent away to a lab and provides results very quickly, within an hour. Read more about how Lateral Flow tests work, their safety and the validation process which they were subject to by Public Health England and scientists from Oxford University before being approved for use across the country.
Getting your test results
Results will be sent to you the same day via text message and/or email that you register on the day of the test. The results are usually available within an hour – sometimes as fast as 30 minutes. You do not need to self isolate whilst waiting for the test results, unless you develop symptoms of Covid-19.
If you get a positive result
You and anyone you live with now have a legal duty to self-isolate immediately. You may be contacted by NHS Test and Trace or your local council and asked for information to help the NHS alert your close contacts.
If you are out or at work when you get your result please make your way home. Avoid using public transport if possible. If you are at work please inform your line manager immediately so that they can initiate their organisation’s risk management plan – cleaning your work station for example.
Full guidance on how to self-isolate is available on gov.uk.