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Hertfordshire County Council

Coronavirus tests for people with symptoms (PCR tests)

Book a COVID-19 test for yourself or a family member. Don't delay if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you should either order a test kit or book a test at one of the drive-through testing centres.

For additional help to book a test, call 119 between 7am and 11pm. Textphone / minicom users with hearing or speech difficulties, call 18001 0300 303 2713.

The call centre can also answer enquiries about the testing process and what to do once you have your result, or chase up any delayed results.

 

Drive-through tests in Hertfordshire

Check the drive-through testing sites available for the next day.

Drive-through testing sites are open on various days of the week in Hertford, Broxbourne, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City for everyone living or working in Hertfordshire.

The drive-through testing centre at Tesco Headquarters in Shire Park in Welwyn Garden City is open every day from 8am to 8pm. It has been carrying out an average of 210 tests every day. Here, people can test themselves with the swabs provided or have a swab test carried out by a trained professional. The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat.

Bring your mobile phone when you visit a testing centre. If you book a test in Watford, you may need to pay for parking as you wait.

Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more about symptoms, how to book a test and the NHS Test and Trace system.


Coronavirus tests for people with no symptoms (rapid testing)

Who can have an in-person rapid test?

Everyone can now get a free test twice a week. Even if you've been vaccinated, still continue to get tested regularly.

There are 2 ways to get tested:

  1. Visit a testing site where you do a self-swab test (with supervision)
  2. Use a home testing kit.

 
Under 16s aren't eligible for community rapid testing.

 

Get tested at a test site

You can now walk in to get a rapid test. No booking required – just check where your nearest testing site is.

If you have previously booked a test on an upcoming date, this booking will remain valid.

Check where our testing sites are today and their opening hours.

You'll need to bring your:

  1. mobile phone – you'll need to provide a mobile phone number or email address
  2. face covering (not a face visor or shield) – if you're exempt, bring proof or evidence of your medical exemption.

Parking may be available at or around the test site, but is not guaranteed. Some parking may be chargeable. Please check before you travel.

There are no toilets or seating at the test centres.

 

When you arrive

  1. We'll ask you to register. Have your mobile phone number or email address to hand.
  2. We'll take you through to the testing area.
  3. You'll need to swab your own throat and nose with supervision from a trained professional.
  4. Once your swab has been submitted, you'll leave the test centre.

 

What to do next

When you leave the test centre, you’ll be given a flyer with more information. Please go straight home or back to work, ideally not using public transport (unless that’s how you got to the test centre).

Rapid tests take 10 minutes. You'll get the results within 60 minutes, by email or text.

 

 

Home test kits

Home test kits come in a box containing 7 tests (enough for one person to test themselves twice a week for 3-4 weeks).

  1. Order online for home delivery – you can order kits direct from the government’s national scheme online or by calling 119. Kits should arrive within 5 working days.
  2. Pick-up from an NHS testing site – some NHS testing sites operate as a collection point in the afternoon.
  3. Collect from a local pharmacy – check if a pharmacy near you is offering test kit collection.
  4. Home testing for school children – for children in Year 7 and above, continue to access home testing kits through your school. Parents can't access tests for themselves through the school testing system.
  5. Workplace testing – check with your employer if they're offering testing on work premises or offering home testing kits.

 

We'll also be handing out free test kits on high streets across Hertfordshire. We'll always be wearing high-vis jackets and have ID.

Soon you'll be able to pick a test up from a Hertfordshire County Council collection point. Details to follow.

Each kit includes instructions on how to test yourself.

If you test positive

If you test positive using a rapid test, you must:

  • self-isolate immediately for 10 days, in line with NHS guidance
  • get a confirmatory PCR test within two days of the rapid test. If this is positive you must continue to self-isolate until the end of the 10 days. If it's negative, you can stop self-isolating.

 
Other exceptions
After a positive test result and self-isolation, people should not have a further test of either kind within 90 days of their positive test.

Positive results from tests will be collected by NHS Test and Trace and published as part of the daily case numbers, including how many positive cases are detected with this new method of testing. NHS COVID-19 app users should input their results into the app.

 

Help if you test positive

You may be entitled to a £500 Test and Trace support payment, if you test positive. The government has set out this eligibility criteria.

Find out more and apply for a Test and Trace support payment

 

You can also contact Herts Help for any support when you’re self-isolating, including shopping, pet care or staying connected with people.

If you test negative

You must continue to follow the national restrictions in place at that time. 

Remember:

  • Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you don't normally meet.
  • Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you don't live with, or who is not in your support bubble.

A negative rapid test result doesn't constitute a 'green pass' and doesn't change the current national rules we all need to follow.

 

 

How rapid testing helps

Rapid testing is over 70% accurate.

Through this programme, we aim to identify people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly.

Identifying and supporting infectious people to isolate will help reduce spread.

 

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