Eligible people are being encouraged to get tested for coronavirus if they are symptomatic of the condition.

The Government has ramped up testing capacity for coronavirus and expanded the range of people who are eligible for the test if they have symptoms, such as a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

People who can apply for a test include essential workers with coronavirus symptoms, over 65s with coronavirus symptoms and someone who cannot work from home with coronavirus symptoms, for example, construction workers or delivery drivers.

In addition, anyone with symptoms can apply for a test if they live with an essential worker, a person aged 65 or over or someone who has to travel to work, or if they have a clinical referral from NHS 111 online.

For more information, and to apply for a test, please visit GOV.UK - Apply for a coronavirus test.   

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Testing is one of the most important interventions that will enable the effective management of the coronavirus pandemic, and we are pleased that the Government has extended testing to key workers and their families, the over 65s and those who cannot work from home.

“The message is clear, if you or a member of your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, check your eligibility for a test and book one if appropriate. The test will confirm whether or not you or someone you live with has the infection, and to get the advice you need to manage your situation. If you don't have symptoms of coronavirus, you cannot have the test."

Testing, which will usually be offered at home or at a drive through test centre, is most effective within 1 to 3 days of symptoms developing, and should be carried out in the first 5 days. 

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. It tests if someone currently has coronavirus - an antibody test, which will tell if someone has ever had coronavirus, is not yet available.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19).   

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.