Coronavirus

Frustration over COVID-19 tests

There’s frustration over a lack of COVID-19 tests in Lincolnshire as South Holland sees a slight rise in confirmed cases.

According to government statistics there were 14 confirmed cases of the virus in the district last week which includes 11 confirmed on September 8.

Previous to that there had only been 11 cases since July 16 and it was the first day for more than three cases to be recorded in the district since June 15.

Hayley Willerton, of Spalding, has four children currently off school, some of whom have symptoms, including one who is supposed to be taking their 11 plus exam this weekend.

But Hayley has been unable to get a test for any of her children.

She said: “I’ve heard of people being offered tests hundreds of miles away but I’ve not even been offered one yet.

“We rang 111 and they said we should definitely book a test and they told us to go to the government website. But it’s always too busy and you can’t book. I’ve tried booking almost every hour since 10.30am on Monday morning.

“Quite rightly they’re prioritising NHS staff but we need to get a test so we can do the track and trace system and they say that if you don’t get one within five days of the symptoms you’re more likely to get a false positive.

“We also need to know because if it’s not coronavirus it could be something else that needs treatment such as tonsillitis.”

Meanwhile Lincolnshire County Council has put out a statement asking people not to take a COVID-19 test if they don’t need one as the service was seeing “unprecedented high demand.”

Tony McGinty, consultant in public health, said: “If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms but are trying to book a test anyway, you could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it.

“And if people with symptoms are unable to get a test, it makes it harder to control the spread of the virus.

“And remember, the virus takes time to develop, so a negative test result early on doesn’t mean you don’t have it. You could still be at risk of spreading the disease to family and friends.

“If you do have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by ringing 119.

“Test centres are under instruction to turn away anyone without an appointment – so please do not just turn up.”

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