People living in Powys can now go for a free Coronavirus test if they have a wider range of symptoms. As well as the three classic signs: fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell; people are now able to get a test if they have other symptoms.
The change is happening to help find hidden COVID-19 cases in our communities, and drive down the numbers of onward transmissions. Identifying infections which could otherwise go undetected is particularly important as new variants of the virus emerge and schools re-open.
Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health in Powys said: “We’re learning more and more about the virus and its mutations every day. Our data and analysis shows that some 79% of people in Powys who have tested positive for COVID-19 are showing one or more of the classic three symptoms of a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell.
“However, our latest data also shows some 21% of people are feeling unwell from one or more of the symptoms listed above, not just the three classic signs. This expanded list of symptoms is in line with the World Health Organisation.
“Ensuring effective and accessible testing for a wider range of signs and symptoms will help control and stop the virus from spreading further in our Powys communities.
“Residents will therefore be encouraged to get a test if they are experiencing any symptoms such as the above that are new, persistent and/or unusual for them. The more tests are carried out, the easier it will be to spot early clusters of cases and possible virus mutations. This will help with easing restrictions in the future.”
People who are experiencing one or more of the three classic symptoms of a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell must continue to follow Welsh Government guidance by going for a test and self-isolating with their household whilst they await a test result.
For People who take a test because of the new wider symptoms listed above, they are not required to isolate while they await their test result. This includes school pupils who can continue to attend school while they await their test result.
People who have had any of the classic signs or any of the new wider symptoms and would like to book a test can do so online at www.gov.wales/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19 or by calling 119, or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties. This is also the way to request a home testing kit.
As these are national testing centres, you may automatically be asked about the classic three signs. However, simply choose either option: “you have been asked to take a test by your local council” or “you are part of a government pilot project” to book your test.
If you have any queries you can contact the Powys Testing hub via email at Powys.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01874 612228. However, if you are chasing your COVID-19 result, you will need to call 119. Results can take up to 72 hours for processing.