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Testing for COVID-19 – a Hampshire update

Hampshire residents are being urged to continue coming forward for testing if they have one or more of the three main symptoms of coronavirus.

Councillor Keith Mans, Leader of the County Council and chair of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “We know that due to high demand, some Hampshire residents are experiencing delays in securing a test via the national booking system, or getting their results back, but it’s imperative that anyone with symptoms absolutely must come forward to get tested as this will help to stop the spread of the virus.

“It is equally important that those who do not have symptoms, refrain from booking a test – as this is pushing demand higher than it needs to be and could limit the opportunity for people who really need one. A recent survey at testing sites suggests around a quarter of people who have accessed tests did not have symptoms. 

“While the number of confirmed cases in Hampshire remains relatively low compared with the England average, the delays some people are experiencing is a serious concern, and we therefore want to do all we can to support local residents to secure a test quickly and easily – we will continue therefore to urge Government for greater local control over local Test and Trace capacity.”

Advice for Hampshire residents

When to get a test

  • Only book a test if you have one of the three main symptoms of the virus or are advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

  • Do not book a test if you have returned from a quarantined country unless you have symptoms.

How to get a test

  • Book online or by calling 119 from 8am. Do not call NHS 111as this is for other health and medical issues.

  • When booking online, make sure you complete the form in full. This includes confirming that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions. You will then be sent a QR code which is required to enter the testing site.

What to do if you are having difficulty booking a test site near you

  • Keep trying – more tests are made available throughout the day.

  • If you are offered a test a long distance from home (up to 75 miles), and you are not able to travel via private transport, consider continuing to self-isolate at home until a test more local to you becomes available.

Hampshire residents booking a test will generally be offered one at either the regional testing site, currently located in Portsmouth, or at one of a number of local testing locations across the county. In addition, three mobile testing units are currently in operation and can be diverted to where there is greatest need. The County Council is also looking at the best options for developing walk-in testing facilities for the public.

The Local Authority, working closely with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum partners is responsible for arranging the testing locations in the area. The provision and availability of testing is led by the Department of Health and Social Care.

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