The Department of Health and Social Care has published new guidance which sets out part of their 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing.
The latest guidance details how they are testing people who have coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus. Their aim is that anyone who needs such a test will be able to have one, but they accept that such a goal will take time to achieve. So, while they are building up their testing capacity at pace, they are offering testing to different groups in a phased approach.
As part of this phased approach, the government has detailed the following categories of people who will now be prioritised for testing, should they show symptoms of having contracted the coronavirus:
The Department of Health and Social Care advise that this list is not exhaustive and local and regional areas can refer other frontline workers in their area for testing as determined by need and available capacity.
They also explain in the guidance that these categories apply in England only and that devolved administrations’ lists may vary.
The Department of Health and Social Care advise that any frontline worker in England who is on the above list and would like to be tested should speak to their employer. Employers of frontline workers will be provided with information on how to make an appointment for their staff through their local resilience forum (where the local region chooses to organise testing in this way), their associated national department or agency, or directly through the Department of Health and Social Care.
Any employer that has any queries should contact their local resilience forum, their associated national government department/agency, or the Department of Health and Social Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The test itself 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).