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Coronavirus testing in Devon


Introduction

Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

When to get a test

If you start to display any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) –

  • a new and continuous cough,
  • a high temperature,
  • or a change in your sense of taste or smell

it’s vital that you arrange a test as soon as possible.

How to book a test

You can book a visit to a test site to have the test, or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. You’ll be told when booking your test where your nearest centre is. Apply online at GOV.UK or call 119. Once you have received confirmation that you have a test booked, you will receive a QR code which you must show when attending the test site. If you have booked via 119 and do not have a QR code then please provide your name and date of birth when you arrive at the testing site so that they can find your booking.

On days 1 to 4 of your symptoms, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 4, you need to do it by 3 pm. On day 5, you’ll need to go to a test site – it’s too late to order a home test kit.

Please try to avoid travelling to a test site using public transport or a taxi if you can.

Test sites

Static test centres in Devon

Static testing centres are available in Exeter and Plymouth and these operate 7 days a week.

There are also a number of mobile test centres in locations around Devon and Cornwall. These locations may change as needed – the following timetable gives an indication of when the sites are usually available. Confirmation of your nearest available site will be given when you book a test through the GOV.UK website or the NHS 119 helpline.

We’re aware of some problems accessing COVID-19 tests in Devon currently. This is a national issue – laboratory capacity for analysing tests is being directed to areas elsewhere in the country with higher numbers of COVID-19 cases.

We urge anyone with symptoms to keep trying to book a test as normal via the government website. If you are unable to book a slot, please email email d-ccg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net and make sure you follow the self-isolation guidance.

Mobile test centres in Devon

LocationMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
BarnstapleOpenOpenOpenClosedOpenOpenOpen
TivertonOpenOpenClosedOpenOpenOpenOpen
TorquayClosedOpenOpenOpenOpenOpenOpen
Launceston*OpenOpenOpenOpenOpenOpenClosed

*Cornwall, but close to the Devon border

When to get a test or not

None of these is a valid reason to get a test:

  • If you have returned from abroad or are about to travel,
  • you are returning to the workplace,
  • you have been in contact with a confirmed case or if another member of your household has symptoms.

You may be advised to isolate if you have been in contact with a confirmed but you should only get a test if you have symptoms. By following these simple rules, we can ensure people who need a test can get one.

For organisations and employers

  • Schools: please follow the official guidance on testing. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms. If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students without symptoms to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.
  • Employers: you should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff.
  • Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel.

Further guidance for members of the public

  • Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
  • Individuals should isolate until they receive a test result or until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
  • Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. We do not provide certificates for travel purposes. You can pay for a private test.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, we are unable to provide this service. You should only get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then they must get tested and the rest of your household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. Most people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on gov.uk.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate.
  • If you have been abroad and are quarantining, you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to quarantine.
  • Do not stockpile tests. If you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.
  • If you have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online or by ringing 119. Do not call 111 which is an urgent care service and cannot help with tests.

For organisations and employers

  • Schools: please follow the official guidance on testing. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms. If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students without symptoms to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.
  • Employers: you should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff.
  • Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel.

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