Since schools went back recently there has been a sharp spike in COVID-19 testing requests, particularly from parents concerned for their children.
This is naturally understandable, but it is important that testing is undertaken only when it is appropriate to do so.
In Dumfries and Galloway we are fortunate that the current prevalence of COVID-19 remains relatively low. However, this could change at any time – particularly as people are travelling and interacting more as lockdown eases – and we have a population which has had very little exposure and therefore little immunity. As a consequence, we must all remain vigilant and follow the Scottish Government guidance.
In relation to tests for COVID-19, unless specifically directed, only people who display one of three well-established symptoms should seek testing, and isolate (with their household contacts) until test results are received.
These symptoms are:
· A raised temperature
· The onset of a new persistent cough
· The loss of or change to sense of taste or smell
Testing people who have one of these symptoms helps ensure that tests are not carried out unnecessarily and that resources are used in the most effective way. If you have one of these symptoms, a test can be arranged by visiting the NHS Inform website – www.nhsinform.scot.
You do not need to call NHS 24 to organise a test. People who work in health or social care, the Emergency Services, or Dumfries and Galloway Council (including Education Staff) and have symptoms of Coronavirus (even if mild) are being asked to arrange for testing through NHS Dumfries and Galloway through the well established routes.
“If you do develop Covid symptoms and are ill and are worried about your health, you should call NHS 24 on 111. Please do not call NHS 24 unless you feel you need medical advice to deal with your illness.”