New COVID-19 testing sites open for Hillingdon residents
Thursday 11 February: Hillingdon Council is opening further COVID-19 testing sites for residents not displaying any symptoms.
South Ruislip Young People's Centre is the latest site to open for residents and two more will open in the coming weeks in Sipson and Harefield.
Testing for COVID-19 is vital in breaking the chain of infection. One in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. In January 242 people in Hillingdon with no symptoms tested positive for COVID-19. If they didn't get tested, they would have infected other people who would then go on to infect others. Even if you're feeling fine, it's important to get tested to rule out being infected - especially if you are not able to work from home. Residents not able to work from home are encouraged to get tested at least once a week.
Getting tested is easy, fast and free. All you need to do is book a free 10 minute slot and take a swab of your throat and nose - you'll get results in an hour. If you test negative you should continue to follow government guidelines and keep yourself protected by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering, and keep a social distance from others.
If you test positive with the rapid lateral flow test you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Eligible individuals who test positive will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace. Please note the government has laid down eligibility criteria.
All efforts to find people without symptoms work hand in hand with the existing free testing service for those with symptoms. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste - should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119
Cllr Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council said: "You could have COVID-19 and not even know. Even if you're feeling fine, it's important to get tested at least once a week, especially if you are not able to work from home. One in three people with COVID-19 show no symptoms and may be inadvertently spreading the deadly virus in our community. Community testing helps us find hidden cases and stop them from spreading further.
"Every time you go for a test, you're helping to protect your family, friends and those around you - you're also helping to save lives by breaking the chain of infection. I'd like to thank everyone testing regularly to check if they have the virus."
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "We've already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.
"Around one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and break chains of transmission.
"I'm delighted that Hillingdon Council are working with us roll out community testing, and I look forward to seeing the results."
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: "NHS Test and Trace continues to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19. Increased community testing is a vital additional tool at our disposal to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the disease.
"The work of Hillingdon Council will be essential in driving down transmission rates. I urge all those living in areas where community testing is offered to come forward and get tested."
You can book your free test online at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/communitytesting and choose from any of the following sites:
- Beck Theatre in Hayes
- Civic Centre in Uxbridge
- Harlington Young People's Centre
- Haste Hill Golf Course in Northwood
- South Ruislip Young Peoples' Centre
Further sites to open in the coming weeks are:
- Sipson Community centre
- St Mary's Church, Harefield
If you need assistance to book a test, please contact the Community Hub on 020 3949 5786