Getting a Covid-19 test in Somerset
The NHS in Somerset and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.
A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines.
This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases is thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
How do I get a Covid-19 test in Somerset?
If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell, you are advised to stay at home for at least 10 days and request a Covid-19 test online, or call 119. Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.
If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.
You cannot book a test via the NHS111 system, or in person at your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.
Can I have a Covid-19 test if I don’t have symptoms?
Any person not displaying these symptoms should not request a test, as doing so could mean somebody with symptoms is unable to receive their essential test in a timely manner.
Do people I live with need to self isolate?
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 10 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. After 10 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 10 days from the day their symptoms start. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.
For more information on testing visit www.nhs.uk
Track and Trace
NHS Test and Trace:
- ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
- helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.
Follow hands, face, space guidance
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.