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Frequently asked questions about rapid Covid-19 testing | Get a rapid test for Covid-19 | Sandwell Council

Get a rapid test for Covid-19

Frequently asked questions about rapid Covid-19 testing

Who can take a rapid test?

Rapid testing is available to anyone. For children getting a rapid test at West Bromwich Town Hall:

  • Young people aged 16-17 can self-swab 
  • Children aged 12-15 may self-swab with supervision of a parent or guardian 
  • Children 11 or under, the accompanying parent or guardian is required to administer the test on the child.
  • Specific instructions will be made available for swabbing young children
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for a rapid test.

How many times can I be tested?

We advise you get tested, and get tested again. If you get a negative result it does not mean you won't catch Covid-19 so it is important to get checked regularly. 

Please wait at least five days between your tests.

If you get a positive result to a rapid test, you must self-isolate and book a PCR test through the NHS to confirm you have the virus. The message you get with a positive result won’t automatically tell you to do this. 

Do I have to have a rapid test?

You don't, but we are hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of having a rapid test to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in their community.

Why should I take part?

We aim to identify people who do not have Covid-19 symptoms but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly. As many as one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be spreading it without realising it. Identifying infectious people so they can self-isolate will help reduce the spread of the virus.

The lessons we learn will help us over time to reduce the impact of Covid-19 control measures, as well as reducing the spread of the virus and protecting vulnerable people.

Do the tests hurt?

No. They can be a bit uncomfortable but only for a few seconds. You perform the test yourself by swabbing the back of your throat and your nose.

Can I get financial help if I test positive?

Eligible individuals who test positive through the rapid testing programme will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace. Find out more and apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you test positive and you live in Sandwell.

If my result is negative, can I go and visit my mum in her care home? Or meet up with my friends?

A negative rapid test does not give anyone a 'free pass' and does not change the current rules we all need to follow.

Will there be arrangements in place for the elderly, frail, or disabled residents who want a rapid test but who would find it hard to stand for long periods of time?

Yes. The testing centre has been created with separate sections for those who require more support. 

I've been offered a test I have to pay for. Is this one of yours?

No. All Covid-19 rapid tests offered by Sandwell Council are free. 


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