Latest guidance on accessing testing in the district
Wakefield Council is reminding residents that only people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 should be accessing testing.
The local service, launched in partnership with the Conexus GP Federation, is working hard to cope with huge demand and has drafted in extra staff and phone lines to help.
The Council is also working with Conexus to increase their testing capacity so they can offer more tests per day.
Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or loss of taste and smell – however mild, need to get tested but we urge you to try the national system first.
The local service will give priority to vulnerable and high risk residents.
Limited numbers of tests are available daily, so it is vital that only those displaying symptoms request a test so they can be used for those who really need them.
Those without symptoms (asymptomatic) should not be seeking a test unless they have been advised to do so by a health professional, Public Health England or the Council's public health teams – it could take a test away from someone who really needs it.
Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health
Anna Hartley, Wakefield's Director of Public Health, said: "Some of our residents are finding it incredibly difficult to get a test and we understand their frustrations. We are continuing to escalate our concerns about the national testing programme as robustly and frequently as we can.
"Apart from the local Conexus service, we do not commission the drive-through testing sites or home test delivery service, so we have very limited control over the availability of tests.
"If you do not have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, please do not get a test as we need to make sure tests are readily available for those who really need them. If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please remember that you need to self-isolate for 14 days to protect others. A negative test result makes no difference, as you could develop the infection at any time during the 14 day period."
People can access testing via the national NHS test and trace service by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. This service should only be used by people who have symptoms.