Posted: 16.07.20 at 12:24 by The Editor
MOBILE Covid-19 testing units will be arriving in Trowbridge from Sunday for six days, but the units were at the Greyhound Inn car park in Mortimer Street for appointments today (Thursday).
Testing can be either something you do not wish to do, in case you are confirmed as having the virus, or that you see as a necessary evil.
Nonetheless, Trowbridge Nub News editor Gary Baker, who has not been tested since the outbreak of the pandemic in March and who associates with two vulnerable relatives, went along for a test today, needing to find out how easy or not they are.
The one which Gary took was a drive-through and self-testing in the pub car park but, importantly, anyone who cannot get out for a drive-through or walk-through test can order a home test unit from the NHS via the website address below.
Here is the process of getting tested from booking a place to registering for results.
Where to find these test centres and what happens on the booking system
The mobile units will be set-up at the Greyhound Inn from Sunday for six days but were open today (Thursday) to test people that booked online.
Finding out where these units were was pretty simple. Gary went onto the NHS website and found the correct page. The direct link for this is www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
From there, just follow the steps on the pages. Some of the questions the system asks are your name, your postcode, if you have been suffering from any symptoms (fortunately, Gary have not had symptoms but needed to get checked out anyway) and your NHS number (that can be easily given by ringing up your GP surgery and asking for it if you do not already know).
The system will also ask where you would like to be tested (the Trowbridge unit on Thursday had over three hundred slots available) and whether you will be using the drive-through facility or walk-through.
If you choose the drive-through, the system will ask for your car registration number.
You will also be asked, if you choose the drive-through, how many people are in the car to be tested (a maximum of four) and to ensure you take documents with you to the unit.
When you have completed the form, you will be sent a text or email (your choice which of these) which you have to show at the unit and have to fill-in there in order to be tested. Also, you should bring hand sanitiser or antiseptic wipes because the unit may ask that you do the test yourself so you will need clean hands.
Also, if you go for a walk-through option, face coverings or masks for every person aged three or over have to be used. People should also bring a bottle of water with them as there is none provided on the test site.
The testing process, the website says, can take ten minutes and people should allow a hour for everything to be completed.
In addition, you must turn up on time – no earlier or later than the appointment booking – so that the process runs smoothly.
What to expect at the test unit
For drive-through testing, like the one Gary had, people have to stay in their car. For self-testing, you park your car in a bay and complete the process.
The test means you will either be asked to do the swab test yourself, with instructions, of, if available, an assistant will conduct the test for you. Staff will let you know which form of testing you will be doing when arriving at the Trowbridge site.
When you arrive at the site, which is the car park of the Greyhound Inn on Mortimer Street, you fill in your date of birth on the text to get a QR code which is checked.
For self-testing, you are presented with the equipment to test yourself which is a stick with a swab on one side end.
You put this swab down the back of your throat as far as possible without making yourself sick then stick it up your nose, then place the swab in a bottle containing fluid.
You snap off the swab to fit into the small bottle, place this in a bag provided but ensuring you push all the air out of this bag. You seal that bag then place the whole lot into another bag which is left unsealed.
On exiting the unit, you stop at a tent for the medical staff there to pass your barcodes. One is fitted vertically on the test bottle (you have to get it out of the bag you pushed all the air out of then reseal it), one will go on a card called Test Receipt Card, and the other goes on the front of the package containing everything you have just used.
And that is it. Hand it to the people on duty and you are finished and can drive away. All done inside ten minutes.
To get your results
Once home, it is important to register in order to get your results.
You will be given two cards when handing your test sample to the medical staff at the unit.
One is the Test Receipt Card on which you will have attached one of your barcodes and the another is called Test Registration Card.
On the Test Registration Card, there is a website to contact which is www.gov.uk/register-your-test When it appears on your computer, go through the various stages of the form on the website until you get to the page which says 'Enter your unique test kit barcode or Randox URN'
At the bottom of this page will be two boxes, one is to enter your barcode and the other is to confirm it. Make sure you check the numbers carefully if you are entering it rather than scanning it.
And, after filling out more tick boxes to confirm your details again, that is it.
Results of your test will be sent to you (email, presumably) in about 48 hours although they could take up to five days.
A quick and easy test although it is not nice putting the swab down your throat or up your nose. The website is simple to follow but duplicates when you register to get your results.