Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups (BLMK CCGs) are reminding members of the public with COVID symptoms to book a test online or by ringing 119.
The CCGs are urging the public not to call NHS 111, visit their GP, pharmacy or A&E if they need a COVID test, as the only way to access a test is via the national system online or over the phone.
Dr Nicola Smith, BLMK CCGs Chair, said: “If you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you should stay at home and get a test either online or by ringing 119."
“Do not call 111 which is an urgent care service and cannot help with tests. Please do not attend a GP practice, pharmacy, or A&E where tests will not be available."
“If you need a coronavirus test, please use the correct routes, such as the online booking system or by calling 119. This service is currently very busy, but if you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours. Importantly, if you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.”
The public should only book a test for coronavirus if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, or they have been asked to get tested by a doctor, a public health professional, or by their local council. Coronavirus symptoms include:
· a high temperature
· a new, continuous cough
· a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you or your child are showing signs of coronavirus symptoms, you can book a test by:
· Using the online booking system and symptom checker by visiting: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
· Calling 119.
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.
You'll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:
· someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
· someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
· you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
More information is available on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.