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Health chief says “essential” to book a Covid test if you have symptoms

PEOPLE in the Swansea Bay area are being reminded as the region fights the new faster-spreading strain of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for them to get a test straight away if they have any of the virus symptoms.

The main symptoms remain a new, continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss of or change in your sense of smell or taste.

Dr Keith Reid, Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The new virus variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible – that means you are much more likely to catch it and pass it on to those around you.

“So even though the vaccination programme has started, as well as following lockdown rules, it’s still very important to book a test right away if you have one or more of the Coronavirus symptoms to protect those you love, the NHS and your community generally.

“Health staff would prefer you booked a test immediately even if it comes back as negative, rather than adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach for a day or two, because during that time, if you do have the virus, you could spread it to others and become increasingly ill yourself.”

If you live in Swansea or Neath Port Talbot and have any Covid-19 symptoms STAY HOME and book a local test. Tests must be booked – people can’t just turn up.

For a test at our static testing units in Margam and the Liberty Stadium, ring 01639 862757 between 9 am-8 pm. The team will then book you into a suitable time slot. Or, for a test at any of the mobile community testing units, please book via the Welsh Government website. (Ring 01639 862757, option five, if you have a query). For a home testing kit ring 119.

The Community testing units are listed here: https://sbuhb.nhs.wales/coronavirus-covid-19/information/mobile-community-testing-units-information/

There may be other Mobile Testing Units set up on an ad-hoc basis, appointment times may differ to those noted above. Bookings at these sites will also be displayed on the Welsh Government website or by ringing 119.

Cllr Rob Jones, the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said:

“Health experts across the world are telling us large-scale testing allows health professionals to quickly identify who has the disease and arrange for them to receive the care needed.

“Isolating known cases prevents them from coming into contact with others and slows the rate of transmission, so please get a test if you have symptoms.”

And Cllr Rob Stewart, the Leader of Swansea Council, said:

“Effective testing allows health authorities to understand how prevalent the disease is in their area and in what ways it is evolving. Tracking positive tests also helps health planners make decisions to try to slow the spread of the disease.”

A wide range of financial help is available for those who have tested positive including via Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, and Working Tax Credit.

For further information on the financial help that is available if someone needs to self-isolate, follow this link : https://www.npt.gov.uk/covidsupport  .


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