Dudley Council’s cabinet member for health and adult social care has issued a reminder to borough residents to only seek a Covid-19 test when necessary.
Cases in Dudley borough have increased from the previous week, in line with national and regional trends, and the council is stressing the need to preserve test availability for those who need it the most.
The Department for Health and Social Care, which manages national testing, has said that people should usually only be tested if they are displaying symptoms in order to help ease the pressure due to a high demand for the tests. Anyone who has any Coronavirus symptoms including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste must isolate immediately for 10 days.
Anyone who is identified as a contact of a positive case must isolate for a full 14 days, even if they get a negative test during that period. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
"There is now very high demand for Coronavirus tests, and it is vital we test people with symptoms to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it. If a person has covid-19 symptoms, they must isolate and seek a test.
"If a person doesn’t have symptoms, then they do not require a test unless advised by a doctor or public health professional.
"People can help to reduce the spread of this virus by remembering ‘Hands. Face. Space’. We all need to wash hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep distance from those not in our own household.
"People should not automatically get tested when they have returned from abroad, are about to travel, are returning to the workplace, when they have been in contact with a confirmed case or when living with someone who has symptoms. Residents may be advised to isolate if they have been in contact with a confirmed case, but they should only get a test if symptomatic."
If you display symptoms, tests can be booked online or by calling 119. People are also reminded not to turn up at a testing centre without having booked a test, as they will not be seen without an appointment.
People can find the government’s latest advice on coronavirus, including symptoms and when to seek a test, at gov.uk/coronavirus.