Advice for residents and employees in Northwich, Winsford and the Chester CH1 3 and CH1 4 Postcodes to seek a PCR test
Why am I being asked to take a COVID-19 PCR test whether I have COVID-19 symptoms or not?
Everyone who hasn’t had a PCR test since 14 May 2021 should access a test unless you have tested positive in the past 90 days.
Over the past seven days we have seen a large increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 resulting in a number of outbreaks in businesses and schools. The current increase in the number of new cases are more likely to belong to the Variant B.1.671.2 (Delta variant) which is more transmissible than other previous variants.
To reduce the spread of the virus, and understand the extent of spread, Cheshire West and Chester Council Public Health Team is now advising all residents and employees in Northwich, Winsford and the CH1 3 and CH1 4 Chester postcodes to book a PCR test regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
A PCR test is used because it not only checks for Coronavirus (COVID-19), but it can also be sent to a lab for specific genome sequencing to identify any new variants.
If you do the lateral flow device (LFD) testing, then do continue with this, and do a PCR test too. It is really important that we have the laboratory results.
Does this only apply to residents of Northwich, Winsford and CH1 3 and CH1 4 Chester postcodes?
PCR testing is available and encouraged for all residents and employees in nearby/outlying villages to Northwich and Winsford. Currently only residents in the CH1 3 and CH1 4 postcodes in Chester need go for a test.
How do I book a COVID-19 PCR test?
To book a test you should visit the GOV.UK website and when asked 'why are you asking for a test?':
- Select 'I’ve been told to get a test by my local council, health protection team or healthcare professional'
- Then select ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms‘
You can also call 119 to book a COVID-19 PCR test.
What if I have tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test within the last 90 days? Do I need to take another PCR test?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test within the last 90 days, you do not need to be tested.
Should adults and children take a PCR test?
We advise everyone who lives in a household to get a test together, children under 16 need to be accompanied by a parent/carer. If younger children are unable/unwilling to be tested it is important adults in the house are still tested this enables us to identify household cases.
Schools have been contacted and asked to remind both parents and secondary age pupils to complete twice weekly lateral flow device tests even if the PCR test is negative.
I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine do I still need to have a COVID test?
Yes. Everyone is encouraged to access a PCR test including people who are fully vaccinated.
Will having the vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19?
No, a vaccine causes the body to generate antibodies, the PCR is testing for antigens therefore being vaccinated cannot cause you to test positive.
If I do not have symptoms of COVID-19, do I need to self-isolate whilst waiting for my PCR Test result?
Whilst waiting for your test result you do not need to self-isolate unless:
- You develop symptoms of COVID-19 - a high temperature, or a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Someone you live with develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19
- You are contacted by the school, workplace or NHS Test and Trace and advised to self-isolate
Additional Mobile Testing Units (MTU)
The Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) at Winsford Academy is appointment only. You need to walk to the MTU, parking is available nearby. Opening hours on 4 - 6 June are 9am - 5pm, 7 June onwards 9am - 4pm.
The Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) at Cumberland Road, Northwich is appointment only. The site is both a walk through and drive through. Opening hours are 12 noon - 8pm.
Why are the sites not listed as a booking option?
Once all available slots are booked at a testing site, the portal will remove the option to book. This is to ensure that the site does not exceed capacity and that all COVID-19 guidance can be safely met.
We would advise that people continue to periodically check the portal for new slots being issued.
Alternatively, PCR tests can also be ordered online.
How else can I help to stop the spread of COVID-19?
As well as getting tested it is also vital that everyone continues to follow the guidelines, this includes working from home if possible and the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ rules – as this is the most effective way to control the spread of all COVID-19 variants.
Does my child need to wear a face-covering in school due to increased rates of Variant B.1.671.2 (Delta variant)?
In response to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 the Director of Public Health is advising the re-introduction of face coverings for all staff and pupils in year 7 and above indoors while in school and college in the affected areas of Northwich and Winsford, including in classrooms where social distancing cannot be maintained, with the exception of certain lessons such as PE.
We will continue to monitor the need for face coverings to be in place on a weekly basis and issue further guidance once we have assessed that cases of the virus have reduced enough to no longer require face coverings.
Are there any changes in terms of care home visiting due to increased rates of Variant B.1.671.2 (Delta variant)?
There is currently no change as a result of the increase we are experiencing.