‘KEEP CHECKING THE WEBSITE’ SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH LEAD AS ISLANDERS STRUGGLE TO GET COVID TESTS

Islanders who are struggling to access lateral flow or PCR COVID tests are being advised to keep checking the Government website, as more and more tests become available every day.

The rise in coronavirus cases has seen an increased demand for tests, both lateral flow tests and PCR tests, and has sometimes led to a delay in availability.

The PCR capacity is due to the national lab capacity.

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Simon Bryant, director of Public Health for the Isle of Wight, has said:

“The best advice is to plan ahead and keep checking the government website at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests for lateral flow tests when you have no symptoms. If you have symptoms, check https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test for available PCR test kits.

“The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed If you haven’t been able to get the test you need, please keep checking http://gov.uk every few hours as more PCR and LFD tests become available every day.

“UKHSA has also confirmed they will be increasing delivery of Lateral Flow Tests to pharmacies across the country, with more kits being delivered in the next few days, in addition to expanding capacity for booking PCR test slots online.”

Key Information from the UK Health Security Agency

• If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should book a PCR test.
• Those who are symptomatic should go to the website or call 119 to book an appointment or order a home test kit.
• During periods of exceptional demand there may be temporary pauses in ordering or receiving tests, to ensure the management of distribution across the system and support changing requirements for LFD and PCR tests.
• If you are symptomatic, you should stay at home while you are waiting for a home test kit or a test site appointment. If you need to leave your home to get to a test site, wear a face covering, stay at least 2 metres apart from other people who you do not live with, and return home immediately afterwards.
• When there is exceptionally high demand for home testing the booking portal is temporarily paused to control the flow of tests into laboratories and maintain maximum operational capacity.

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