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The COVID-19 Drive-Thru testing centre at Midtown yesterday experienced a significant increase in the numbers of people turning up for a test.

The Drive-Thru facility offers two types of testing; for symptomatic testing by appointment if referred by 111 or testing for asymptomatic screening.

Symptomatic individuals should call 111 immediately. They will be given an appointment to attend the drive-through for a test to see if their symptoms are of COVID-19 or not.

Close contacts of positive cases or people believing to be close contacts should not immediately attend the drive through for a test. This is because of the incubation period for COVID-19, which means that the swab is likely to be negative if the test is carried out straight after being notified that you are close contact. You should therefore arrange to get tested if you start to develop symptoms by calling 111 immediately.

Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should go home immediately, self-isolate and call 111.

A reminder that the symptoms to look out for are:

• Headache
• blocked nose
• weakness or severe fatigue
• muscle ache
• runny nose/eyes
• loss of taste/smell and/or appetite • sore throat
• fever
• tummy upset including diarrhoea • persistent cough
• burning eyes

After a test, the public are advised go home straight away and self-isolate until results are received, which would normally be expected within 24 hours. However, due to the increase in cases the test results may take slightly longer.

Please do not call 111 to ask for test results.

They will not be able to assist and this puts extra pressure on the service, taking time and resources away from other urgent matters.

Please be mindful when attending the drive through for a test, wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others whilst waiting.

Minister for Health and Care, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “It is up to all of us to be responsible and to follow the instructions of clinicians. If you have symptoms, go home and contact GHA 111 at the earliest opportunity. We have to work together.”

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