Twice-weekly rapid tests now available to all
Published 12th April 2021
As rapid ‘lateral flow’ testing access opens to all, Sandwell Council is reminding people to always follow up positive results with a PCR test to confirm the result.
Everyone in England now has access to two free rapid coronavirus tests per week and government advice urges people to make these a regular routine.
The rapid test kits (lateral flow), which give results in around 30 minutes, can be picked up in Sandwell from testing centres between 2.30 and 8pm, from some pharmacies or ordered online for home delivery.
People who would prefer a supervised test can also get a rapid test at West Bromwich Town Hall. This test is only for people with no symptoms.
A positive rapid test must be followed up quickly with a PCR test, which is the original type of test in which the swabs are sent off to the lab.
Sandwell’s Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said: “It is crucial that people seek a PCR test within 48 hours of any positive rapid test result to confirm that result is accurate.
“Otherwise we may end up isolating unnecessarily, along with our contacts.
“The lateral flow tests are convenient because they give rapid results. They can be used regularly, by people without any COVID-19 symptoms, to help us spot infection early.
“If we test positive on one of the these rapid tests then we must begin our isolation and book a PCR test. We can do this by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or ring 119.
“Government guidance says that if you do not get a PCR test within two days of a positive rapid lateral flow test at a test site, you will need to self-isolate for 10 full days - even if you get a negative PCR result.”
You MUST also book a PCR test and self-isolate if you have COVID symptoms - a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to your sense of taste or smell.”
Full details of all the testing options and how to book are available on the council’s website: