Renfrewshire Council

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde letter to parents and carers with latest advice on Covid19 testing - 27 August 2020

Letter from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Director of Public Health to all parents and carers with advice and latest guidance on Covid19 testing - 27 August 2020

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Parent or Carer 

I am writing to you to give you the latest, up-to-date advice on Covid-19 testing and hopefully address some of your concerns and questions.

Since schools returned in the middle of August, there has understandably been a sharp rise in requests for Covid-19 tests, particularly from parents concerned for their children. 

However, in order to ensure we do everything we can to prevent a rise in cases, we want to remind people how the testing system works and free up testing for those who really need it.

Firstly, only people who are symptomatic should book a test unless you are asked to get a test by Public Health as part of the management of an outbreak in your community.

The symptoms are: the onset of a persistent cough, a temperature/fever, or a loss of taste or smell. You only need one of these to be tested. This can be done by visiting the NHS Inform website

We realise the testing centres have been very busy recently but remember that home testing kits are also available or you can call again the following day to get an appointment for testing. You can request a home kit here. 

I also want to stress that while family members need to self-isolate if someone in their household develops symptoms, they do not need to be tested unless they themselves go on to develop symptoms.

If you are contacted by Test and Protect to tell you that you are a close contact of somebody with Covid-19, you do not require a test but you must isolate for 14 days.  A test will not change the need to self-isolate. 

Also, if your child is asked to stay off school as they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case, this does not mean other members of your household need to self-isolate, unless the person self-isolating goes on to develop symptoms. 

Please do not call NHS 24 or contact your GP unless you feel you need medical advice to deal with your illness.  You should not call NHS 24 or your GP just to get a test. This is not the correct route to organise a test. 

It's important that parents do NOT take their children to Royal Hospital for Children for a test.  This helps reduce the risk of any potential spread of the virus and allows staff to focus on the children that need hospital treatment. 

I want to thank everyone for their continued patience with the system. We all need to work together as we enter this next phase in the fight against the virus. 

For more information please visit the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website

If you require help with any questions you have about coronavirus that are not answered online, or you do not have internet access, please call the free helpline number 0800 028 2816. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm each day. 

Yours sincerely 
 
Dr Linda De Caestecker

Director of Public Health

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde