Leader of Torbay Council, Cllr Steve Darling, said: “With the current issues around the national testing capacity for COVID-19, we must all play our part to ensure that people in Torbay who need a test, can get one. There is a limited service available at the moment nationally, and those who need testing must be prioritised.

“We understand the situation is worrying and frustrating for those of you trying to book tests for your families, but we ask for your patience and consideration at this time, while national capacity is being built up. Although the responsibility doesn’t lie with the local authority, we are doing all we can, with partners, to support ways of making more capacity available for local people as soon as possible.”

When to get a test

  • Only get a test if you have symptoms of coronavirus, or have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are at least one of the following:

  • a fever or high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.

When not to get a test

  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms yourself. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate.
  • If it is more than 5 days since your symptoms started you will not be offered a test as the test is not effective after 5 days.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, we are unable to provide this.
  • If you have been abroad and are quarantining, you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to quarantine.

How to get a test

  • If you have symptoms please book a test as normal online or by calling 119. 

Book a coronavirus test

  • Do not call 111 which is an urgent care service and cannot help with tests.
  • Anyone who tries to book a test and is unable to do so, or who is offered a location which is not convenient, is being asked to wait a few hours and try again. 
  • Temporary local arrangements have been put in place to try and help with delays. If you are unable to book a slot through the government website, please email d-ccg.cornwalldevon.urgenttesting@nhs.net and you should be contacted within 24 hours by someone who will try to arrange a test for you.

What to do next

  • Individuals should isolate until they receive a negative test result or until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
  • Other members of the household must isolate until the person with symptoms has a negative test result or until 14 days after the first person started symptoms. 
  • Full guidance on self-isolation is available on gov.uk.  
  • Do not stockpile tests. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.

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