Dear Parent/ Carer,
Please find attached information that has been published by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board on wider symptom testing for COVID 19.
Free COVID-19 test if you have a wider range of symptoms
You can now go for a free COVID-19 test if you have a wider range of symptoms. As well as the three cardinal signs: fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell; people are now able to get a test if they have other symptoms too.
These wider symptoms are:
- Flu-like symptoms, which are not caused by a known condition such as hay fever, including: myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
- Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
- Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test
The change is happening to help find hidden COVID-19 cases in our communities, and drive down the numbers of onward transmissions. The more tests carried out, the easier it will be to spot early clusters of cases and possible virus mutations. This will help with easing restrictions in the future.
Residents are asked to consider taking a test if they are experiencing any of these wider symptoms and they are new, persistent and/or unusual symptoms for them.
Individuals who take a test because of these other wider symptoms are not required to isolate while they await their test result. This includes children and school pupils who can continue to attend schools and childcare settings while they await a test result. However, children and adults with diarrhoea and or vomiting should remain off work or school and not attend childcare settings until they are symptom free for 48 hours even if their Covid-19 test is negative.
If individuals then receive a positive Covid-19 result, they and their household must then isolate. Households must also isolate if anyone develops any of the 3 cardinal Covid-19 symptoms while waiting for a test result taken on wider symptoms to come back.
But if you are experiencing one or more of the three most common COVID-19 symptoms (new persistent cough, fever and/or loss of taste or smell) you must continue to follow the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect guidance on testing and isolation and self-isolate with your household whilst you await a test result.
Frequently asked questions can be found at:
Mrs Claire Turner