Community testing FAQs
Below are the community testing FAQs.
They have been grouped into sections, to help make navigation easier for you.
1. Are we doing rapid community testing in Gloucestershire?
Yes, but only in two areas at the moment. In Gloucestershire, we are ahead of the game in that we have already run a pilot of the lateral flow devices at the Royal Agricultural University in December 2020, and a community scheme went live on 13th January 2020 in the Barton and Tredworth area.
This initially focused on people who live in the immediate local area and cannot work from home.
The testing centre at the Royal Agricultural University re-opened to the general public on 17th February and further sites are planned.
Testing is now available to anyone who lives and/or works in Gloucestershire and cannot work from home or has to leave home for other reasons, such as caring responsibilities. You are encouraged to book a test at the site nearest to where you live or work (further sites are planned) to reduce unnecessary travel.
2. Who can get a test?
We're offering community testing to anyone who lives or works in Gloucestershire and has to leave home during the lockdown for work or caring responsibilities.
Groups have been prioritised on the criteria of close contact, multiple contact and vulnerable contact groups. This is where testing will have the biggest impact – both in terms of reducing transmission of the virus and to support the delivery of key services.
Community testing will be deployed alongside existing national rapid testing existing programmes, such as in the NHS and in care homes and the developing offer for employers (see below).
Asymptomatic testing works hand-in-hand with the existing testing service for those with COVID-19 symptoms as part of the comprehensive NHS Test and Trace testing offer.
3. How can I get a test? What should I expect?
At the moment, only NHS staff and certain other professional groups are able to do LFD tests in their own homes. This is changing, and in future more people should be able to do home testing using LFDs. However, until then, you must attend a specific testing centre where you will take your own swab and hand it to a testing centre staff member who will process the result for you and enter the results on to a system.
You will then get a text message or email with your results.
If you live or work in Gloucestershire and cannot work from home, you can book for a test on our community testing page.
4. I work at a big employer; can I get tested at work?
NHS Test and Trace is working with government departments, institutions and employers across both public and private sectors to support delivery of asymptomatic testing to large organisations, including those providing critical services. Delivery will be through on-site testing in the workplace.
For more information, employers with more than 50 staff members can contact P-andPSector@dhsc.gov.uk.
5. Where is the testing taking place in Gloucestershire?
There are two testing centres open in Gloucestershire at the moment. These are:
- Friendship Café, Chequersbridge, Painswick Road, Gloucester, GL4 6PR; and
- Royal Agricultural University, Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 6JS.
Further sites are planned and the County Council website will be updated with further details when these are confirmed.
6. How often should I be tested?
People wanting to be tested need to commit to having two tests per week for around six weeks.
7. Why am I being asked to re-test every 3-4 days?
Testing using the Lateral Flow Device every 3 to 4 days increases the reliability of the result and also ensures that if you test negative but you are still incubating the virus and become infectious later, the infection is likely to be picked up by your next test.
8. What type of LFD tests are being used?
The Innova SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test is the testing kit used in our rapid community testing programme.
9. I don’t live or work near a testing centre; when will I be able to access the testing locally?
We know that many people want to access the new testing programmes. However, setting up testing centres takes time to identify and build sites, train staff and get testing kits and PPE delivered.
We are awaiting further guidance from the government on the plans for the local roll out and we will learn more about uptake from our existing sites.
We will keep people updated on our website.
We ask that in the meantime people are patient, and continue to follow the lockdown rules, and continue to wash hands thoroughly, wear face coverings and maintain social distance. By taking these simple steps we can help to limit spread.
10. What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you must not visit the asymptomatic testing site at the Friendship Café or Royal Agricultural University.
Please get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK online or call 119 if you have any of the following.
- a high temperature;
- a new continuous cough; and
- a loss of / change in taste or smell.