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Sefton’s Public Health Director stresses coronavirus test are only for people with symptoms

With a recent survey of the country’s coronavirus testing sites showing a quarter of people turning up for tests did not have symptoms, Sefton’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has reminded residents they should only book a test of they have symptoms.

Mrs Jones said: “Testing is a crucial tool in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 but with the capacity of labs to process tests currently facing an enormous challenge, people should not book a test unless they have symptoms or have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional.

“People who do have any of the coronavirus symptoms, which are a high temperature, a persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell must isolate immediately for 10 days and must stay isolated even if they are waiting test appointment at a nearby location to become available.

“The rest of their household should self-isolate with them while they wait for the results but if they don’t have symptoms, they shouldn’t get a test.

“I know it is frustrating but it is the same for all of us and it’s the best way of making sure we don’t pass on the virus to potentially vulnerable friends and loved ones for whom coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal.”

Social distancing, using face masks and coverings where required and when social distancing is not possible and frequent and thorough handwashing are also vital tools in helping prevent the spread of the virus added Mrs Jones.

She continued: “Additionally, anyone identified as a contact of a positive case through Test and Trace must isolate for the full 14 days even if for some reason they get a negative test during that period. But once again, those people should only book a test if they develop a high temperature, a new continuous cough or they lose their sense of taste or smell.”