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Take a test – help protect

29 April 2021

Taking a few simple preventative steps could help us all protect each other as COVID-19 restrictions lessen over the next couple of months.

Washing our hands, leaving two metres space and wearing a face covering where required are already part of our everyday life but we now are encouraging every adult and child of secondary school or college age to take part in regular testing as we move through the next steps of relaxing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Keeping a lid on the number of cases is key to getting back to a more normal way of life.

Residents now have a number of different ways of accessing symptom-free tests which have been shown to identify cases we would otherwise not find, allowing people to isolate, preventing further spread of the disease and saving lives. It is important to also remember that even with a negative test result, people must continue to follow national and local rules and guidelines including regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing face coverings, where required.

District-based community testing has already been successful across the county and soon we will welcome new COVID-19 buses which will offer symptom-free tests for harder to reach locations. The buses will be kitted out with all the facilities to offer symptom-free testing and will travel to different locations around the county where they are needed.

Many residents in Norfolk already have access to workplace testing, while those that do not can now pick up symptom-free COVID-19 test kits from any pharmacy or library in Norfolk. In addition, residents can also directly order them for use at home – either online or by calling 119. More details on all these options can be found on this section of our Coronavirus testing page.

It is important that once you have taken any type of symptom-free test you remember to register your results. And if you have COVID-19 symptoms, book a PCR test instead of taking a rapid symptom-free test.

Deputy Director of Public Health Diane Steiner said: “As lockdown restrictions continue to gradually ease we all need to play our part in keeping ourselves and each other safe and helping to have a steady return towards a more normal way of life.

“We know that one in three people who have Covid-19 don’t show any symptoms and increasing testing within communities helps to alert those who might be spreading the virus without realising it.

“Testing means positive cases can isolate immediately, along with their households, minimising the risk of transmission. Finding new cases also contributes to the understanding of the effectiveness of vaccines as more and more people are vaccinated. If you test positive with a symptom-free test you must immediately make an appointment for a PCR test at your nearest location or order a test online.

“Symptom-free testing, following the rules of Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air; getting a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and self-isolating if that test is positive, must all become everyday behaviours to help reduce the rate of infection and protect one another.”

Pharmacist Ben Ampomah, Director of The Clock Pharmacy in Kings Lynn, said: “The Clock Pharmacy has continued to serve Kings Lynn’s residents with vital medicines and a range of health services without the need for an appointment over the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting the Pharmacy Collect service adds to the variety of control measures that are already in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and holiday makers choose the coast for their much anticipated break and we see further footfall, this service will be of particular value in a community setting.”

As laid out in the government’s roadmap, all adults and secondary school and college aged children should now be tested twice a week. Primary school children should not be regularly tested asymptomatically but will continue to need to come forward for PCR tests if they have symptoms.

Lateral flow testing detects cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning positive cases can isolate immediately.

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