Wigan health chiefs urge residents to get the right Covid-19 test

NHS Wigan Borough CCG said people who don't have symptoms should have a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) while those who do require a PCR test

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:52 am

Health chiefs in Wigan are urging residents to make sure they are getting the correct Covid-19 test at the right time.

People who don't have symptoms should have a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) while those who do require a PCR test.

The relatively new LFTs are done at home and those taking it get the results within 30 minutes, and are for regular, once or twice weekly testing. They are being used in homes schools and workplaces across the country.

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The more advanced PCR tests, where the swab gets sent to a laboratory, are for when people have symptoms, or they have had a positive LFT.

GP practices in Wigan borough are seeing increasing numbers of parents contacting them with young children, babies and toddlers who have a cough or a high temperature.

Without a PCR test result, the GP or nurse is unable to confirm whether it is COVID or something else. So the advice to parents is to book their children in for a PCR test as soon as their

symptoms start.

Dr Tim Dalton, GP and chairman of NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said, “We are doing incredibly well with the vaccination rates in the borough, but we can’t get complacent.

"COVID and the pandemic is still very real, which is why we need people to keep getting tested.

"It is also important that now there are different types of tests (LFTs and PCRs) that people are using the right test at the right time.”

“LFTs are a fantastic tool for giving people an indication of whether they might have COVID or not.

"However, they aren’t a laboratory test and so it is so vital that when people have symptoms or a positive LFT that they self-isolate and book a PCR test straightaway.

“If you’re a parent, it is just as important that you do the same for your children, even if they are under five.

He added: “Please don’t wait a couple of days just in case, or because you think it may be a cold, hayfever or something else. Get the PCR test done early and, in most cases, you will rule

COVID out.

"This will help stop the spread of COVID and keep the COVID numbers down and the recovery on track.”

To book a PCR test, either use the NHS COVID-19 App, go online to nhs.uk/get-tested or ring 119.

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