Covid-19 cases are much lower now than six months ago, but as we ease out of lockdown, start to mix socially and more of us return to the workplace, the virus is still circulating. Regular testing, even when we’re feeling well or have had one or both vaccination jabs, is the best way to stop the virus from spreading out of control.
Many people who catch Covid feel ill and experience symptoms - like a fever, cough, and loss of taste or smell - and stay at home or seek medical help. But as many as one in three people who get it don’t get any symptoms, or only feel a bit under the weather. Without knowing it, they can give it to other people they come into contact with because they don’t know they are infectious – which is what we mean by the chain of infection.
That’s why we recommend everyone makes regular symptom-free Covid testing at home using an LFD test kit part of their weekly routine. Testing twice a week is the best way to keep on top of the virus.
The LFD test kits are free and easy to get hold of and show a result in less than 30 minutes. You can pick them up over the counter at most chemists around town or order them online to be delivered at home. If you live in Brighton & Hove you can also get hold of them at Hove Town Hall, where someone to show you how to do the test as well.
For the testing and contact tracing systems to work, every test result – both negative and positive - needs to be recorded. The LFD home-testing pack contains clear instructions about how to do that.
Everyone who gets a positive test result should immediately start to self-isolate and book a follow-up PCR to stop the virus spreading and protect other people.
If you have any Covid symptoms, though, don’t use one of the LFDs home testing kits. Immediately stay home and book a PCR test (which is sent to a laboratory) either online or by calling 119.
Self-isolating can be hard and support is available in Brighton & Hove to help people get through it. If you or someone you look after needs to self-isolate and that means you can't work or face financial difficulty, you may be eligible for a one-off payment self-isolation payment.
Our community advice and support hub can also help people who need to self-isolate with practical help getting hold of food, shopping or medicine deliveries. They can also give advice on benefits or debt and support your physical or mental wellbeing. The community hub can be reached by calling 01273 293117 (option 2) Monday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm or online at brighton-hove.gov.uk/covidhelp.
We can stop Covid from spreading in Brighton & Hove. And you can play your part in the fight against Covid by making regular symptom-free testing part of your weekly routine. Please test, test and test again.
Photo Credit: @anniespratt