All residents in the borough can access regular and rapid COVID-19 tests to help stop any outbreaks of the virus.
One in three people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms so these twice-weekly tests, known as Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are aimed at people without symptoms, to help stop people from spreading it unwittingly.
The free tests can be accessed in a number of ways:
- A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service enabling people aged over 18 without symptoms to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect tests to use twice a week at home – find your nearest participating pharmacy by visiting: maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk
- Community testing at an LFT testing centre in the borough – including Winsford Lifestyle Centre, Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre in Ellesmere Port and at Chester Cathedral
- Picking up home testing kits at one of the community testing centres above, or at libraries, including Northwich, Neston, Frodsham and the mobile library van at Tarporley, Tattenhall, Malpas and Tarvin
- Collecting home testing kits at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows – sites in the borough include Little Roodee and Sealand Road Park and Ride in Chester, Wellington Road in Ellesmere Port, the car park at Winsford Lifestyle Centre and Leicester Street in Northwich.
- workplace testing programmes, if offered, on-site or at home
- testing provided by schools and colleges
- a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home – visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on the ‘testing and self-isolating’ section
Until 9 April, testing for people without symptoms was only available to key groups who could not work from home, had caring responsibilities or, from March, those who shared a household or bubble with someone who attends nursery, school or college.
Since asymptomatic testing began in Cheshire West and Chester in December, LFTs have identified more than 500 positive cases that would not otherwise have been found.
As restrictions ease, the tests are being made available to everyone to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Rapid tests are now available to everyone as more places start to open – testing is a really important way of helping us to get on with a more normal life, alongside hands, face, space, fresh air and vaccination.
“We must remember to keep washing our hands, keep our distance from people we don’t live with, wear face coverings in enclosed areas and meet people outside in the fresh air – remembering to only meet in groups of six or as two households.
“These rules, as well as doing a test twice a week, are still important, even if you have had one or two doses of the vaccine.
“We all have to play our part to keep each other safe and help us gradually return to a more normal way of life.”
Anyone who tests positive using an LFT should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test to confirm the positive result. Book this by visiting: nhs.uk/coronavirus or call: 119.
If this confirmatory test is negative, self-isolation can stop. If it is positive that person and their household must self-isolate for 10 full days, starting on the day after the positive LFT.
LFTs are only for use by people without symptoms.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, including a new, continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste or a high temperature, should also book a PCR test.
For full information about testing options available in Cheshire West and Chester and opening hours visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk and click on COVID-19 testing.