Mobile unit boosts testing for those with coronavirus symptoms
Released: Tuesday 26 May, 2020
People are being reminded they can now get tested for coronavirus if they are symptomatic of the condition – with additional capacity available through a Mobile Testing Unit which is currently operating in Wolverhampton.
Anyone aged five and over with symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – can now be tested.
Testing will usually be offered at home or at a drive-through test centre. The test is most effective within one to three days of symptoms developing, and should be carried out in the first five days. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Please note, all appointments must be booked in advance.
The Mobile Testing Unit in Wolverhampton is one of a number travelling across the country to areas where there is high demand for tests. They can be set up in under 20 minutes, meaning hundreds more people can be tested each day. Specially trained operators including military personnel will collect swabs at the mobile sites, before they are sent to labs for processing.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Testing is one of the most important interventions that will enable the effective management of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The message is clear, if you or a member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, please book a test. This will confirm whether or not you or someone you live with has the infection, and enable you to get the advice you need to manage your situation. If you don’t have symptoms of coronavirus, you cannot have the test.”
Testing Minister Lord Bethell added: “We have been clear that everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to access one and our Mobile Testing Units take tests directly to the people that need them. Mobile units provide a vital service to protect the vulnerable and help people that test negative for the virus safely get back to work.
“The mobile unit in Wolverhampton is one of a growing network of pop-up sites travelling across the country.”
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. Please note, the test is not suitable for children under the age of five.
Meanwhile residents are reminded they must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Everyone must:
• Stay at home as much as possible
• Work from home if you can
• Limit contact with other people
• Keep your distance if you go out
• Wash your hands regularly
• Stay at home and self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind.