If you have symptoms of coronavirus

Find out how to book a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19, including information about testing sites in Northumberland.

This information is for people who are currently experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have one or more of the following symptoms of COVID-19, you must book a test:
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • Loss of or change to sense of taste and / or smell


How to book a test

Click here to book a test.

We have testing sites across the county. The council is not involved in the set-up or operation of tests, including their locations.
 
You MUST follow the registration process and book an appointment for a test. You can’t turn up to get a test without an appointment.

Learn more about our testing sites for people with symptoms of coronavirus below.
Find out about testing sites for people with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) located in Northumberland.

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers:

General information

No. The testing sites for people with symptoms of coronavirus are run by the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care as part of the drive to improve the accessibility of COVID-19 testing for communities, as such they are responsible for the operation of all sites.
These testing sites are semi-permanent, purpose-built locations where members of the public who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus.

These sites are walk-through sites which means they are accessible on foot, as opposed to drive-through.

However appointments are still required before attending.

Northumberland has four testing sites:

  • Peoples Park car park, Institute Road, Ashington, NE63 8HP September
  • ​Marine Terrace car park, Blyth, NE24 2LL
  • Sandstell car park in Spittal, Berwick, TD15 1RE 
  • Former fire station site, Tyne Mills Industrial Estate, Hexham, NE46 1XJ 
8am to 8pm, 7 days per week.

Safety at testing sites

Yes. Sites have detailed clinical operating procedures in place which have been developed in collaboration with clinical experts.

Layouts at walk-through testing sites have been carefully designed to ensure people can move around them safely and prevent spread of the virus.

Social distancing will be maintained throughout the testing process, and people attending the sites are asked to wear a face-covering.
No. Testing sites have been risk assessed, to ensure they do not pose any health and safety risks to the surrounding areas. This has been confirmed by the Council’s Health and Safety team.

How to book a test and when

YES. It is important that anyone requiring a test makes a booking before attending any test site. This will ensure that sites have enough capacity to meet demand and prevent them from becoming overcrowded.
You should only book a test if you have been asked to do so by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, or if you are showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19. These are:
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • Loss of or change in sense of smell and / or taste
You can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.
No. The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for the operation of testing sites for people with symptoms of the virus, and any appointment slots must be booked online via nhs.uk/coronavirus or gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.
No. It is essential that tests are reserved for those who are currently showing symptoms of COVID-19.  Even if you have been instructed to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace system, you should only book a test if you yourself are showing symptoms of the virus.

Northumberland currently has targeted community testing in place for key workers without symptoms of the virus. Find out more here.
You should only request a test if you have developed symptoms of COVID-19. If someone you have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19 you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, at which point you will be instructed to self-isolate for 10 days.

Again, you should only request a test if you yourself are showing symptoms of COVID-19, otherwise you should carry out the full period of self-isolation as instructed. Remember, you will only be contacted by the Test and Trace service if someone you have been in contact with has been confirmed to have the virus.

Getting to a testing site

If you are attending a site for a COVID-19 test because you have symptoms of coronavirus, it is essential you do not use taxis or public transport to get there.

Walking or cycling is recommended if you are unable to drive. Be sure to wash your hands before you leave the house and avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily on your way.

Before a test

You will be asked to bring your booking confirmation and a form of ID.

You should also wear a face-covering at all times when attending the test site, only removing it at the moment you take your test.

During a test

You will be asked to sanitise your hands upon arrival and ensure you maintain a 2-metre distance from others.

You may be asked to queue and there may be bags checks in place.

When inside the testing tent, your confirmation message and ID will be checked, and you will be given a testing kit. A member of staff will then direct you to a testing booth where you will carry out your test.
You will conduct the test yourself, which will consist of 2 swabs – one from the nose and one from the mouth. Full instructions will be given, and staff will be there to offer support should you encounter any issues.
Slots for testing are 20 minutes, although you may be required to queue before entering the site.

After a test and test results

You should return straight home after your test without stopping anywhere else. You should then register online using the link on your test registration card and the remaining barcode from your test kit.
You should receive your result within 72 hours. There are 3 types of result you can get:
  • negative
  • positive
  • unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive
A positive result means you had coronavirus when the test was done.

If your test is positive, you must self-isolate immediately.
  • If you had a test because you had symptoms, keep self-isolating for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you had a test but have not had symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 10 days from when you start self-isolating.
A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

 You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:
  • everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative
  • everyone in your support bubble who has symptoms tests negative
  • you were not told to self-isolate for 10 days by NHS Test and Trace. If you were, you must keep self-isolating for the rest of the 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested. However, anyone you live with and those in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
  • you feel well – if you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better
Note: If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.
An unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive result means it's not possible to say if you had coronavirus when the test was done. You must get another coronavirus test as soon as possible if this happens.

If you had a test because you had symptoms, you must keep self-isolating and have another test within 5 days of your symptoms starting. If you’re not able to have another test in time, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 10 days.

If you had a test but have not had any symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate while you wait to get another test. People you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, do not need to self-isolate.
When you book your appointment, you will receive a confirmation message that will include a contact number which you can phone if you do not receive your test result within 72 hours.
No. There is no evidence to suggest that a person develops immunity from COVID-19 after being infected.
No. This test can only tell you whether you are currently infected with COVID-19.