COVID-19 Testing

30th April 2020

Great news that here in Norfolk we have set up our own Norfolk Testing stations and Mobile testing system, so that people locally can get tests closer to home. 

Click here for more info: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Community coronavirus testing in Norfolk and Waveney now available to “key workers” (and/or household members with symptoms).

Click here for more information: Click here

The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is offering coronavirus tests to key workers* such as teachers or food industry staff, to help them remain in work. This also applies to members of their household who may have coronavirus symptoms causing the key worker to self-isolate.

Employers or line managers are required to begin the booking process via a local email system. This is to confirm the person is eligible, after which they will be able to make their own appointment. Bookings can be made immediately.  

John Webster, an Executive Director with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Our local hospitals have worked together to significantly expand community NHS coronavirus testing. We recommend people try to book using our local system rather than the national system because you will be directed to a local test centre rather than a regional centre although the national system offers home tests which equally some people may prefer.”

People who are confirmed eligible for testing in Norfolk and Waveney will be given an appointment at one of three drive or walk-through centres. These are at the Centrum centre, close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn (QEHKL) or at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston. The service is being managed collaboratively on behalf of all three hospitals by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Once an employer or line manager has applied on behalf of a key worker and/or their family, they will be issued a unique reference number and further instructions. All applications will be checked to make sure people are well enough to attend a testing centre, and eligible for a test in line with Public Health England guidance.

People will receive their test results within 48 hours or less, either directly or via their employer’s occupational health service, together with initial advice about to what to do next.

* Key workers include many people working in education, transport, many public services, energy, power and water/sewerage workers, and those working to provide, distribute or sell food. The precise definition is available on this government web page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#key-workers

The newly expanded provision in Norfolk and Waveney provides an alternative to the national testing offer which has centres at Ipswich, Stansted, Peterborough and elsewhere.  

A more detailed description of the Norfolk and Waveney service follows below.

 

 Norfolk and Waveney Key Worker Testing Referral Service

Norfolk and Waveney Keyworker Testing

 

**Typical coronavirus symptoms are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, general malaise and myalgia but some may experience other less typical symptoms such as anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness, headache, vomiting, loss of taste and smell or pleuritic chest pain. As such, individuals may also be suitable for testing if they have any upper respiratory symptoms or a general malaise, with or without a fever or cough.  Please note all key worker testing applies to both symptomatic employees (isolating for 7 days) and household members (isolating for 14 days) 

 

Am I a key worker? Read the list on the Government’s website.

Key workers are people whose jobs are vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. Because their work is so vital, the Government is keen to ensure they are able to work with as little restriction as possible, which means being able to put their children in school and using necessary transport. As of 15 April 2020 this was: 

All NHS and social care staff, including:

  • doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers
  • the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector
  • those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines, and medical and personal protective equipment
  • NHS Blood and Transplant frontline staff (blood donation staff, specialist nurses for organ donation, staff running therapeutic apheresis services in NHS hospitals)
  • those providing ancillary support to NHS workers (such as hotel accommodation for NHS staff)

Essential public services staff, including:

  • prisons, probation, courts and tribunals staff, judiciary
  • religious staff
  • charities and workers delivering critical frontline services
  • those responsible for the management of the deceased
  • journalists and broadcasters covering coronavirus or providing public service broadcasting
  • public health and environmental staff, such as specialist community public health nursing

Public safety and national security staff, including:

  • police and support staff
  • Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of critical defence and national security outputs and critical to the response to the coronavirus pandemic), including defence medical staff
  • fire and rescue service employees (including support staff),
  • National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas
  • British Transport Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Transport workers, including:

  • those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus response
  • those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass

Education and childcare workers, including:

  • support and teaching staff
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals

Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods, including:

  • those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • those critical to the provision of other essential goods, such as medical supply chain and distribution workers, including community pharmacy and testing (such as PHE labs), and veterinary medicine
  • workers critical to the continuity of essential movement of goods

 

Local and national government staff critical to the effective delivery of the coronavirus response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits

Public and environmental health staff, including in government agencies and arm’s length bodies

Funeral industry workers

 

Frontline local authority staff and volunteers, including

  • those working with vulnerable children and adults, victims of domestic abuse, and the homeless and rough sleepers (and hotel staff supporting these groups)
  • voluntary sector organisations providing substance misuse treatment

Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including:

  • staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus response
  • essential staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 essential services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

 

Coronavirus - COVID-19

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

For the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest medical advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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