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Coronavirus testing

Surrey Local Resilience Forum have set up a team to coordinate delivery of coronavirus testing to all eligible people across the county. If you have any questions about coronavirus testing in Surrey, please email: surreycovidtesting@surreycc.gov.uk.

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Who is eligible for a test?

Essential workers living or working in Surrey, who have coronavirus symptoms can be prioritised for testing by registering with Surrey's testing hub.

If a member of their household has symptoms, their household member is eligible to register with Surrey's testing hub. Essential workers are those outlined in the Government's list of essential workers prioritised for testing.

Anyone else with symptoms of coronavirus who is over the age of 5 should request a test via the NHS testing portal.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

We are testing some groups of people without symptoms where appropriate and in line with Government guidance. We will be contacting these individuals separately:

  • We are building up our testing capacity to ensure that all residents and staff at care homes and nursing homes with symptoms are being tested. This will be rolled out shortly to include all residents and staff whether they have symptoms or not.
  • Where in line with clinical guidance, we are also testing some NHS workers and patients who don't have symptoms.

How do you book a test?

Essential workers living or working in Surrey, who have coronavirus symptoms should register with Surrey's testing hub within 24 hours of developing symptoms and beginning self-isolation. A member of the testing team will then contact you to book your appointment. Please note you will be contacted from a withheld number.

If a member of their household has symptoms, their household member should register with Surrey's testing hub within 24 hours of developing symptoms and beginning self-isolation, and a member of the testing team will contact them (from a withheld number) to book an appointment.

Anyone else with symptoms of coronavirus who is over the age of 5 should request a test via the NHS testing portal.

For NHS acute trusts, staff should continue to contact their trust in the first instance as they might be able to refer you to the testing facilities they have on-site. If the trust can't offer a slot quickly, then they can register with the Surrey testing process as indicated above.

What to expect from your test

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

There are two ways that you can get tested to confirm if you currently have coronavirus and both are provided free of charge:

  • Driving to a regional or mobile drive-through test site
  • Requesting a home testing kit

Watch a YouTube video explaining the process for drive-through testing.

Watch a YouTube tutorial supporting the instructions on your home testing kit.

Can I get a home testing kit?

If you are too unwell to travel to a test centre, you can request a home testing kit when you register. Please bear in mind that availability of home testing kits is currently limited, but more will become available.

When using a test site, there is no option to use public transport – you must drive or arrange for a household member to drive you. If this is not an option you can request a home testing kit.

Should I buy a home testing kit online?

Some manufacturers are selling products containing COVID-19 testing kits that allow a swab or other type of sample to be taken at home or in the pharmacy setting, followed by a very rapid result within about 10 minutes.

The current Government view is that use of products that give a very rapid result is not advised because there is little information on the accuracy of these tests and no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infections.

For more information, see Government guidance on the rapid point of care tests.

Receiving your results

Whether you visit a testing site or use a home testing kit, you will receive advice on what to do in order to obtain your test results. Results will be sent out by text within 48hrs from a testing site, and within 72hrs of collection of a home test.

When you receive your results, you should confirm them to your employer. We will not release data to employers on individual's test results or an individual's engagement with the test programme.

If you or your household member tested positive, you should all continue to follow the Government's stay at home guidance. If you or your household member tested negative and you are fit and well enough to work, you should arrange your prompt return to work with your manager.

Should I use the NHS or the Government's testing portal?

Essential workers living or working in Surrey should use Surrey's testing hub as outlined above. This allows us to prioritise and ensure people get the test they need.

It also allows us to collect vital data, such as the numbers of people accessing testing across the county.

There is no difference between the two testing schemes – the tests are exactly the same and are located at the same sites – the only difference is the way we prioritise and record data.

Privacy Notice

This privacy notice describes how we may use your information during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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