Should I still be using Rapid Antigen Tests
Following the easing of lockdown restrictions and the return to work and school, many are now asking “Should I still be using Rapid Antigen Tests” and the answer is YES. People who are unvaccinated, part or fully vaccinated are still being asked to test regularly. The evidence suggests COVID-19 is spreading through the air (airborne transmission), close contact via droplets, and via surfaces. It remains important for everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, to follow behaviours and actions that reduce transmission and help to keep people safe.
How often should I test
Government advice recommends residents of qualifying age to take a Rapid Antigen Test twice a week, every 3 or 4 days. These test should be reported on the day you or someone in your household takes the test, no matter what the result is. Children who go to primary school or younger children do not need to test.
Who are the tests for
The rapid antigen test home test kits are for you if:
- you live in England
- you do not have coronavirus symptoms
- you have not been told to self-isolate
- you or someone in your household, childcare or support bubble attends a primary school, a nursery, a secondary school, a sixth form, a college, or works at one
- you cannot get tests from a test site or your work
Where can I collect a rapid home test kit?
You can order the free home test kids online using this link https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Local pickup in Ash Village
The Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd with the Village located at 11 Wharf Road, GU12 5AZ is included as a free pickup site, no booking required
- Monday Friday 9am – 6:30pm
- Saturday 9am – 5:30pm
- Sunday Closed
What if I test positive
Following a positive test, or if you have symptoms, self-isolate straight away until you get a PCR test and receive the results. Do not leave home, except to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment. Check if the people you live with need to self-isolate on NHS.UK.
How to book your PCR test
You can book at a test:
- At a walk through test site
- At a drive through test site
- By ordering a home testing kit for up to 3 persons
What if I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
Examples of close contact include:
- face-to-face contact under 1 metre for any length of time – including talking to them or being coughed on
- being within 1 metre of each other for 1 minute or longer
- being within 2 metres of each other for more than 15 minutes in total in 1 day
The advice on isolating is dependent on your age and vaccination status. The Government has issued guidance on What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
In this guidance it states that Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school who have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households.
Book your vaccine
If you have not booked both your vaccination’s, you may do so here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination
The First dose vaccine is also now offered to 12-15 your olds
The NHS working with school immunisation teams, will offer a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 12-15 year olds from the week commencing 20 September 2021. The current recommendation is that 12-15 years olds should receive only one dose. Consent forms and guidance for 12-15 year olds are available here
Easy-read resources have been produced to disseminate key vaccination messages to children and young people who have a learning disability. They will need to have two vaccines doses. The second vaccine should be 8 to 12 weeks after the first vaccine. To find out more who is considered at-risk children, please visit GOV.UK
There is early evidence that the levels of protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines reduce over time, particularly in older individuals who are at greater risk from the virus. The JCVI has consequently advised COVID-19 booster vaccines should be offered to those more at risk from serious disease, and who were vaccinated during phase one of the vaccine programme (priority groups 1-9). This includes:
- Those living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 50 years or over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- All those aged 16-49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers.
- Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and help
If you have Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have contracted Coronavirus (COIVD-19), please see NHS guidance online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
If you have symptoms or Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your condition gets worse, or you do not get better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service www.111.nhs.uk.
If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For medical emergency, dial 999.
Do not delay getting help if you are worried, Trust your instincts.