Last Monday Little L started school, Thursday afternoon he came down with a runny nose and by the evening he had a temperature of over 38 so under the current rules we have to get a test for corona virus
We’ve been here before, our eldest was off school loads when he first started as he too picked up every bug going but, due to the current circumstances we needed to get our youngest a test for covid-19. Easier said than done. I started looking online on the gov.uk site at 11pm on Thursday – nothing. No at home tests, no walk in and no drive through. I wondered if I had done something wrong as it said
no sites found
But apparently that is just because there were no tests available at that time.
How do I book a test for coronavirus online?
If you are booking an NHS test (and please don’t book these if you are going on holiday and need the results before you fly, the tests are already thin on the ground) go to the Gov.uk website here. You will need to input your name, mobile number, email address (if you have one) date of birth for the person having the test and postcode as it will find you the closest test centre (in theory). Your NHS number is not necessary.
In the morning there was still nothing so I took to my local mums group. There are mythical centres where you can just turn up, I’m not sure if these do actually exist as your test has a QR code and bar codes that have to match. Basically all you can do is refresh the page until a slot appears unless you live in an area where they are handing them out.
I cannot tell you how many times I refreshed that page during the day.
You can also call 119 but there was just a message to say to try online.
Eventually, at 6.15 Friday evening, slots for coronavirus tests appeared, half an hour drive away. I grabbed one and received a text and email confirmation.
The email contains the QR code that will be scanned at the depot when you have your test.
The following morning I read through the instructions:
Depending on which site you go to, you’ll either be asked to do the test yourself (with instructions) or an assistant will do the swab test for you. Staff will let you know which test you’ll be doing when you arrive at the site
If you are bringing a baby or child under 11 to be tested, you will be asked to swab test you child
Oh. Fuck. You also aren’t allowed to leave your vehicle so the adult in the back has to do the test. Try explaining that to a highly strung 4 year old. They recommend having the adult already in the back of the car unless you are able to climb through.
In the email is also a link to an instruction video that I missed but is really helpful – click here for the video
We arrived at the covid-19 testing centre at 11 in the morning.
It wasn’t signposted but I knew we were in the right place as soon as I saw the empty car park opposite a Morrisons supermarket with a white tent in it. It is something like a crap film in all honesty, this never happened in 28 Days Later. We were directed in by a man standing in the road. You have to keep your windows up and are instructed to call a mobile number on a white board held by a member of staff. You are able to open your window enough to collect the test. By the way the staff seem to think they only have to cover their mouths with the masks and have their noses poking over the top like the Chad graffiti from the 80s. Pricks.
You are then directed to park in a space and do the test.
The coronovirus test is in a plastic bag with the swab, tube containing liquid, another biohazard bag, bar code and instructions:
Covid-19 Self-test Step-by-step guide
I have taken photos of the leaflet. I wish we had had the chance to see it beforehand as it was quite daunting the four of us sitting in a car in a car park trying to swab Little L.
If you have any issues with the test you have to put your hazard lights on. We needed another swab which wasn’t an issue. Once you have finished the test you put your hazard lights on and they check you have put the swab in the solution correctly, after that you can close the biohazard bag and proceed to the drop off area. Here you crack the window and a person with a grabber takes the test from you and drops it in a bucket.
We were lucky and had our results at 6am the following morning – they were negative.
I hope this helps anyone else in a similar situation.
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