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Testing without symptoms

Coronavirus Stay at Home

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms

One in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms and could be spreading the virus without realising.

Rapid twice-weekly testing is available for everyone in the borough and can be accessed in a number of ways:

If you’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive

From 9 April if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus you are advised to book a PCR test.

You should do this at the start of your 10-day self-isolation period.

Taking a test is not an alternative to self-isolating. You will still need to isolate for the full 10 days even if you test negative for coronavirus.

If you live with the person who has tested positive, you should book your test three to five days after their symptoms started. If you do not live with the person, you should book your test three to five days after the day you last spent time with them.

If you cannot book your test within five days, book it as soon as possible.

If you are a close contact, but you have already tested positive in the past 90 days, you should not get tested but still complete the full 10-day self-isolation period.

Book a PCR test

No symptoms (asymptomatic) testing centres

The Council's testing centres are at:

The testing centres are open for all to have regular testing.

You do not need an appointment to get tested. You can arrive at a time that suits you - although if the test centre is busy you may have to queue.

The test centres are open from 9am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

What is the test?

You carry out the Lateral Flow Test (LFT) test yourself using a swab which you will rub at the back of your throat and in one nostril. The test is not painful, although it may be slightly uncomfortable.

The swab is analysed at the test centre, and your results will be sent to you by text message or email approximately half an hour after you have done your swab. If you do not have a mobile phone or email address, you can telephone 119 to receive your results instead.

You should aim to get tested twice a week. When you come to the test centre, please wear a face covering.

What happens next?

If your Lateral Flow Test (LFT) was done at the test centre is positive:

  • You and everyone in your household must self-isolate immediately for 10 days and book a PCR test to confirm your result. If this confirmatory test is negative you do not need to self-isolate and you can carry on your daily activities as normal. If it is positive you and your household must self-isolate for 10 full days, starting on the day after your positive LFT.

If your test result is invalid/void

If your result is invalid/void, it means it cannot be read and it is not possible to say if you had Coronavirus when the test was done. You should take another test as soon as possible at one of our Council asymptomatic testing sites.

If the LFT result is invalid a second time, you should book a further test, known as a PCR test, though the national portal.

Book a PCR test if you have received an unclear result

While awaiting a follow-up test you only need to self-isolate if

  • you have or develop symptoms
  • someone you live with tests positive (or has symptoms and has not been tested yet)
  • you have been traced as a contact or someone who tested positive

If your test result is negative

If your result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate and you can carry on your daily activities as normal. Like everybody else, you still need to practice the preventive measures:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser, regularly throughout the day
  • Use a face covering when out and about
  • Keep at least two metres apart from others.

Community Collect

You can collect COVID-19 home testing kits for people without symptoms at these locations:

  • COVID-19 testing centre at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port, from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • COVID-19 testing centre at The Dingle Centre, in Winsford, from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • COVID-19 testing centre at Chester Cathedral, from 9am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • Dee View Hub, Europa Court, Dee View Boulevard, off Bumpers Lane, CH1 4NP, from 3pm to 7pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to noon on Saturdays.
  • Northwich Library, in Witton Street, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 2pm to 6pm on Thursdays.
  • Neston Library, in Parkgate Road, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesdays.
  • Frodsham Library, in Princeway, from 2pm to 6pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 10am to 1pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Ellesmere Port Library, in Civic Way, from 9am to 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9am to 6pm on Thursdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Residents can also collect home testing kits from the Mobile Library Van in the following locations:

  • Tarporley Community Centre, from 2pm to 4pm on Mondays
  • Malpas - Bishop Heber High School car park from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesdays
  • Tattenhall Barbour Institute from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesdays
  • Tarvin Community Centre, from 2pm to 4pm on Thursdays

Home test kits are still available at the existing collection points at the borough's five Local Testing Sites, including:

  • Little Roodee Testing Centre, in Chester
  • Queensway Testing Centre, in Winsford
  • Sealand Road Park and Ride Testing Centre, in Chester
  • The Old Depot Testing Centre, in Northwich
  • Wellington Road Testing Centre, in Ellesmere Port.

Check opening times for Community Collect at Local Testing Sites.

In a home test (called a Lateral Flow Test, or LFT) you will test yourself using a swab which you will rub at the back of your throat and in one nostril. The test is not painful, although it may be slightly uncomfortable.

If your home test result is positive you must book a confirmatory PCR test at a Local Test Site or Mobile Testing Unit.

Book a confirmatory test

If your result is invalid/void, it means it cannot be read and it is not possible to say if you had Coronavirus when the test was done. You should take another test as soon as possible at one of our Council asymptomatic testing sites.

If the LFT result is invalid a second time, you should book a further test through the national portal.

Book a test if you have received an unclear result

If your PCR test result is negative, you can carry on your daily activities as normal. Like everybody else, you still need to practice the preventive measures:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser, regularly throughout the day
  • Use a face covering when out and about
  • Keep at least two metres apart from others.

The LFT test kits supplied for home testing of people without symptoms are not suitable for people with COVID-19 symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must make an appointment to visit a Local Test Site or Mobile Testing Unit, or order a PCR home test kit which is specifically for people with symptoms.

Testing for children

Testing for children with symptoms

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell) should self-isolate at home immediately and book a PCR test.

Testing with symptoms

Testing for children without symptoms

Pupils in secondary schools and colleges are encouraged to take a test twice a home test twice a week. Testing kits and instructions will be provided to pupils and students by the school or college.

Children and young people under the age of 18 can also attend the Council's testing centres for regular and rapid COVID-19 testing if they do not have symptoms. These centres are at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port, The Dingle Centre in Winsford and Chester Cathedral.

  • Children aged 11 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can carry out the test on the child and is comfortable doing so.
  • Children aged between 12 and 15 may carry out the test themselves under supervision of their parent or guardian.
  • Young people aged between 16 and 17 can carry out the test themselves and do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Find out more about testing centres for people without symptoms.

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