Coronavirus testing is taking place across the Humber and can be accessed through a number of different routes.
This information has been provided to support local residents and key workers to find out if they are eligible for a Coronavirus test and how they can get an appointment. This information is changing regularly. It is correct at the time of publication, but please check back for updates.
NATIONAL CORONAVIRUS TESTING PROGRAMME – EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY 18th MAY 2020
Extending Eligibility for Testing
From today, everyone in England, Scotland, Wales* and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus.
*Those in Wales will be able to book a home-test only on the UK Government portal
People can register for a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, after checking their symptoms. Arrangements for essential workers are set out below.
Those in England and Wales who do not have any access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, will be able to ring a new 119 service to book their test.
The four UK Chief Medical Officers have also announced today that anosmia – the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell or taste – has been added as a symptom of COVID-19.
This means that individuals need to self-isolate immediately – and will be eligible for a test – if they have a new continuous cough, or they have a high temperature, or they feel a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste. All members of their household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.
Access to Testing for Essential Workers
By the end of May, we will increase our testing capacity to 200,000 per day. While capacity continues to expand, it is crucial that those who run our essential services can still access a test when they need one.
We are therefore ensuring that essential workers are prioritised for testing, while allowing as many tests as possible for the wider population:
- Essential Workers and members of their household who have symptoms should continue to register for a test through the Self-Referral and Employer Portals on gov.uk. Scotland, Wales* and Northern Ireland retain separate eligibility definitions for essential workers.
- Care Homes in England can continue to register for delivery of tests for all their staff and residents, whether or not they have symptoms: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home. We have allocated 30,000 daily capacity for this channel, and our goal is to reach all care homes within initial scope (where the primary client is older people or those with dementia) by 6 June. Local Authorities providing us with referrals helps us ensure that those care homes identified as priorities receive tests as early as possible within that timeframe. We will work closely with local authorities to inform prioritisation and ensure regular reporting.
In terms of satellite sites, we are receiving plans for the expansion of existing facilities, new site proposals, and local care home testing from NHS and local authority colleagues across England. The objective is to build a range of local proposals into an integrated plan, whilst also, crucially, ensuring testing is available to all care homes.
As we implement the new test and trace service, we will ensure that we manage our capacity so that priority areas can continue to get a test if they need one. That way we can keep our country moving, protect the vulnerable and build the national recovery.
Who can be tested?
Following the latest updates to Government guidance we are now offering Coronavirus testing, at some testing sites in the Humber, to the following groups:
- all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
- anyone over 65 with symptoms
- anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
- anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above (this includes children from the age of 5)**
Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing and therefore it is important to make arrangements for testing as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. Those who are asymptomatic, (have no coronavirus symptoms), should not use the self-referral portal to book a test.
**The testing sites operated by our local hospital trusts (see below) have different eligibility criteria and are managed directly by employers. Please speak to your employer if you think you need to be tested so they can advise which route you should use.
Where can I go for testing?
All testing sites operate on an appointment only basis – please do not attend without an appointment. When attending a site for testing, please stay in your car with your windows closed and follow instructions from site staff.
Humber Bridge Testing Centre
A regional testing centre has been established at the Humber Bridge Car Park (north). This is a drive through facility and is by appointment only. Appointments at the Regional Testing Centre can be booked through the online referral portal (either directly or through your employer).
Mobile Testing Unit
A Mobile Testing Unit is being deployed in different areas around the Humber to make it easier for people to get tested closer to home. The Mobile Testing Unit will move around the region offering testing by appointment only. Appointments at the Mobile Testing Unit can be booked through the online referral portal (either directly or through your employer).
When booking through the online portal, you will be shown a list of the nearest places to go for your test, which will include a Mobile Testing Unit if one is near you. It is important to undertake the test within a maximum of 5 days from the onset of symptoms, if a mobile unit is not near you at the time you need to be tested, you should attend your closest Regional Testing Centre or order a home testing kit.
For those unable to drive to a Regional Testing Centre and where a Mobile Testing Unit is not available, it is possible to order a home testing kit and carry out a swab-test at home. Home testing kits can be ordered via the online portal (either directly or through your employer).
Other Local Testing Sites
Local Hospital Trusts have also established their own testing centres to test health and social care staff and other key workers, where there is capacity to do so. This includes household members from the age of 2 years.
These local sites include:
- Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham
- North Lindsey College, Scunthorpe
- Grimsby Institute, Grimsby
These sites are operated by staff from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Local NHS staff can be referred for testing by their line manager. Staff at partner organisations should request a test via their employer. Partner organisations may refer staff to a local site or refer them to the regional testing centre depending on capacity at the time. Appointments for these sites cannot be booked via the national self-referral system.
Testing is strictly by appointment only; anyone turning up without an appointment will be turned away.
Where can I find out more information?
- Frequently Asked Questions (05/05/2020)
- Government Guidance on Coronavirus Testing
- How NHS Employees can get a test for COVID-19
- COVID-19 Symptom Checker
- How to find your NHS number
- UK Government Strategy for scaling up testing (04/04/2020)
- Government advice on returning to work for healthcare workers