MATT Hancock announced that testing can now be provided for up to 10 million key workers and emergency staff.
Here's how to get tested if you are an essential worker who believes that you or a household member has coronavirus.
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Can key workers get tested for coronavirus?
Yes. But only if you are showing symptoms now.
There have been previous attempts at drive-through testing sites that didn't go particularly well, so the government has improved its testing.
After hospitalised patients, key workers that show symptoms or believe that they or someone in their family has the virus are next in line.
The government has said testing is most effective within three days of symptoms, a high temperature or a new continuous cough developing.
This test is not the same as an antibody or antigen test and only tests to see if you are currently infected.
You will need to bring your worker ID or some other form of proof that shows you are a key worker.
How can I book a test online?
If you qualify as a key worker and you are self-isolating then you can get tested.
The five ways key workers and their families can get a test are:
- Testing in NHS hospitals
- Regional test centres in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Satellite centres
- Be sent a home test kit
- Mobile testing units which travel around the country.
The main two ways the government is now sorting out testing is home testing kits or drive-through.
You can book a home test online but the service is only available from 8am to 8pm.
It's also limited to 5 people per household, so you may have to prioritise the most vulnerable in your home first if you have a larger household.
There are only 1,000 kits being sent out daily at the moment while the system gets up and running, but this capacity will be expanded over time.
Packages of satellite test kits will also be sent directly to care homes across England to enable testing of symptomatic residents.
This requires a few personal details – name, mobile number and profession.
You then submit your application.
Once a key worker submits their info, they receive an email or text the same day inviting them to book a test.
They will then be able to choose an appointment at their local drive-thought test site.
Home test kit numbers will initially be limited, so the government is encouraging people to take this option if they can.
To get started, click this link here.
Where are the UK drive-through centres?
There are plans to set up around 50 testing centres like this in the coming weeks.
A network of new mobile testing units designed by army engineers is being set up to travel to care homes, police stations, prisons and other sites where there is demand for testing.
At the moment there are around 30 sites that are active, with the hope that key workers won't have to drive for longer than an hour to get to one.
Here are the ones that have been confirmed.
Where are the drive through test centres?
There are now 29 Regional Test Sites set up by the Department of Health and Social Care:
- Birmingham (Midland Metropolitan)
- Milton Keynes
- NHS Nightingale London
The Department of Health and Social Care are currently supporting 13 NHS trusts with satellite test sites for their staff (located in: Bexhill; Bognor Regis; Bradford; Chester; Coventry; Crewe; Huddersfield; Kendal; Lincolnshire; Liverpool; Manchester; Sandwell and Wakefield).
How do the home test kits work?
Brits without a car will be offered a home test, including swabs and instructions, with 1,000 kits sent out daily before the scheme is ramped up.
They will be delivered by Amazon within 24 hours, before being collected the next day by Royal Mail.
A helpdesk will also be set up to deal with inquiries too.
Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff
We are urging Sun readers to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.
We are backing a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gallantry gong given for acts of bravery that did not take place in battle.
A No10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.” SAS hero Andy McNab added: “The award of a George Cross would show an emotional appreciation.”
We are asking our readers to please sign the petition below.
When will I receive my results and what happens next?
All those tested will get their results by text within 48 hours of having their swab taken.
If you or someone you live with has got coronavirus then just sit tight and self isolate, drink lots of fluids, take paracetamol or ibuprofen when needed and put your feet up.
Do not go back to work. You can get a Netflix subscription here to help pass the time.
If things get worse call 111.
If your test result turns out to be negative then the government says to get back to work.
Health Sec. Hancock said he wants to “help key workers return to work, which is key to keeping the country moving.”
Go back so long as:
- you are well enough
- you have not had a high temperature for 48 hours
- everyone you live with also tests negative
An NHS app is also being developed to try and monitor people who develop the virus, and tell them who they are likely to have come into contact with.
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