Dudley Mind - Working across the Black Country

COVID-19 PCR & LFT Testing

Which test is right for you?

Although you may not be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it is still possible that you may have contracted it. This may be due to having come in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Taking regular free tests is important to keep ourselves and everyone else safe. 

There are currently two types of tests available 


PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests

These test are used when a person has any Covid symptoms (new continuous cough, fever, loss in or change of taste or smell, OR feel generally unwell) and they mostly take place at testing sites. They are then tested at a laboratory. If you take a PCR test because you have one of the main Covid-19 symptoms you and your household must isolate until you have your test result as you may be infectious.

If you are testing because you are feeling unwell with other symptoms, you don’t need to isolate unless you get a positive result. If your result is positive you must all isolate for 10 full days so you don’t pass the virus on. You may also be asked to take a PCR test as a precaution by your local council or NHS (even if you don’t have any symptoms).

Rapid symptom-free tests

Also known as lateral flow tests (LFT) can be done at home and give a result in just 30 minutes. This test must not be used if you have any symptoms. LFT should be used by us all - ideally we should get into the habit of doing them at least twice a week.

1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t show any symptoms. Already the rapid tests have picked up 146,000 positive Covid cases across the UK, helping to stop the spread. If you test positive on a rapid test (LFT), isolate along with your household and get a PCR test immediately to confirm your result.

Free boxes of rapid tests (LFT) can be picked up at test centres, participating pharmacies or ordered online - find out your local collection point.

For full details please visit: https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/emergencies/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing/


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