A CALL is being issued for everyone in the DG8 and DG9 postcodes to come forward and be tested for COVID-19 – whether or not they are currently experiencing symptoms.
Testing has been available this week in Stranraer for people experiencing symptoms and those who felt they might have COVID but were asymptomatic.
However, capacity is in place which will allow for testing across the community in a bid to identify any as-yet-undetected cases and help stop any further spread.
Those who have no symptoms and are being tested DO NOT need to self-isolate while waiting for their test results, although this remains a vital step in preventing further spread for anyone with symptoms, even if mild.
Interim Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “We’re seeing increasing access to asymptomatic testing across Scotland as a whole.
“As part of that we’re able to launch an ambitious undertaking, encouraging everyone living in the DG8 and DG9 postcodes in Wigtownshire to come forward to be tested for COVID-19 – regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
“Previously, testing on a community scale was possible in Langholm and Canonbie because of the population size, the localised spike in cases and the availability of extra testing capacity for this limited purpose.
“We’d encourage everyone to take up this opportunity which now exists in Stranraer – in the hope that we can we can identify live cases and help halt the spread.”
Ms White added: “It is very important that if you have symptoms of coronavirus you immediately self isolate with your household and book a test. If you do not have symptoms of coronavirus you do not need to self isolate prior to your test.
“It is really important to remember that a negative test result only means you do not have coronavirus at the point of the test. You may go on to subsequently develop coronavirus, and therefore it is critical that even with a negative result you continue to follow all the FACTS guidance and abide by the current rules.
“It is appreciated that there might be some initial high level of demand for testing, but we would ask people to note that testing will be running daily and to stagger their approach.”
The testing unit is based at Ashwood House in Stanraer each day from 11 am to 4 pm, and is committed to be available at this location daily until at least Monday next week.
Tests at the Mobile Testing Unit will be by prior appointment only, and these can be made from 6.30 pm the day before being tested by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
If you are not currently experiencing symptoms when arranging an appointment, please mark that you have been directed to receive a test.
If you do not have access to the internet please phone 0800 028 2816.
Home testing kits are also available and come with comprehensive instructions to guide you through administering the swab yourself. These kits are delivered and collected by Amazon and Royal Mail, and they do not have access to the results or any health data.
For information, visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-testing?fbclid=IwAR0N683cxdB2qTgkhWzamFC81AJc2n9hmfBoEto9oCiQGJVn386ZlHMSY60