Image demonstrating Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary school pupils and staff in Northumberland can access regular twice weekly rapid lateral flow testing as part of the Government’s roadmap to recovery.  
About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms and may be able to pass it on to others. Regular, lateral flow testing is designed only for people without symptoms and will help to reduce the spread of the virus.
Councillor Richard Dodd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health said: “This is another step in the right direction in getting our children and young people back into school safely. It is an absolute priority that staff and pupil’s health and safety is at the forefront of a smooth return.  
“Regular testing within households will mean positive cases are found more quickly, and will reduce the amount of people entering schools who have been in close contact with, or who themselves show no symptoms, helping to further keep educational settings safe. 
“I thank you for doing your bit in helping our children and young people get back to school safely.” 
Children in year 7 and above will be provided lateral flow tests via their school; three tests will initially be taken at school and then two home tests per week following that.   
Primary and first school age pupils do not need to be tested. 
For further information on who can access rapid Covid-19 lateral flow testing please visit the government website here.  
In Northumberland if you are a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of school staff or a pupil you can attend an symptom free testing site for twice-weekly testing or arrange home testing: 
Symptom free testing sites
  • Get a test through your employer Your workplace may offer rapid lateral flow testing. Speak directly with your employer to find out more.
  • Northumberland County Council symptom free testing sites: You can take a rapid lateral flow test at a Council test site. Testing at these sites is assisted, which means you will swab yourself under the supervision of a trained operator. You can book an appointment for your test here. Walk-in tests are not available.
    Northumberland County Council community symptom free testing sites are:
    - Ashington Leisure Centre, Lintonville Terrace, Ashington, NE63 9JY
    - Willowburn Leisure Centre, Willowburn Avenue, Alnwick, NE66 2JH
    - Wentworth Leisure Centre, Wentworth Place,  Hexham, NE46 3PD
    - Berwick Childrens Centre, Ladywell Place, Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2AE
Home testing kits are not currently available at NCC symptom free sites. 

NCC is setting up Community Collection points and these should be available from mid-March.  

Home testing
  • Collect home test kits You can collect two packs of home test kits from one of the temporary local collection points which are run by the National Test and Trace programme. Each pack contains seven tests.

    In Northumberland home collection points are:
    - Peoples Park car park, Ashington, NE63 8HP
    - ​Marine Terrace car park, Blyth, NE24 2LL
    - Sandstell Road car park Spittal, Berwick, TD15 1RE
    - Former Hexham fire station car park, Tyne Mills Industrial Estate, Hexham NE46 1XW.
Most collection points are open between 1.30pm and 7pm.  You do not need to make an appointment.

Use the map to find your nearest home test kit collection point, check opening hours and if it is busy before you go.

Please do not visit a collection point outside opening hours. It may be used to test people with coronavirus symptoms outside these times and you will not be able to collect home testing kits.  
  • Order home test kits online: If you cannot get tested at your workplace, or are unable to go to a test site or collect test kits, you can order a home test kit online.  Order rapid lateral flow home test kits 
Jim Brown, Public Health consultant said: “Testing is a vital part of the fight to bring the virus under control. Whilst it is not compulsory it is a way for you to play your part and we urge anyone who is eligible to access the testing to help protect Northumberland, others and themselves.” 
Those who take part will be asked to take a test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days apart) and report the result to NHS Test and Trace on the same day the test is taken. The test can be reported online here or by calling 119. 
If a member of the household, childcare or support bubble tests positive or gets coronavirus symptoms, they should tell the school and:   A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus. But this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you should keep following all coronavirus advice
There is further guidance available on how to self-test here
There is also a helpful video showing you how to test at home. You can view this here.  
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