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Some 705,428 people have tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 since the pandemic began at the start of this year. A total of 16,171 people of those tested positive on October 17, with 150 people dying yesterday. The latest R number is estimated to be at 1.3 to 1.5 with a daily growth rate range of up to seven percent.
Symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, a continuous cough or a loss in taste or smell.
Anyone who experiences symptoms can get a covid test – either at a drive thru test centre or by ordering a home test kit.
In England, you need to get the test done in the first eight days of having symptoms – or within the first five days in Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The simple test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
You can do the swab yourself, using a home kit, or someone can do it for you.
You must stay at home and self-isolate if you have symptoms, regardless of whether you get a test or not.
The cover test is also available to those taking part in a Government pilot project, if someone you live with has symptoms, or if your local council asks you to be tested.
You can read more about how to get a free covid test with the NHS here.
How long do covid test results take?
Covid test results aim to be returned within 48 hours if you had your test done at a specialised test site.
However, the system is experiencing severe delays so it could take up to five days.
If you ordered an at-home test kit, your result could be with you within 72 hours. But again this could take longer.
Your result will be supplied either by text or email, with the subject being: NHS COVID-19 Notification.
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Can you get covid results at the weekend?
Yes, you can receive your cover test result over the weekend.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, director of testing at NHS Test and Trace, said: “The testing team work on this 18 hours a day, seven days a week. We recognise the country is depending on us.”
However, there is high demand for testing and many are experiencing delays in results.
Patients who are most ill and in hospital are being prioritised. They will get their results within 12 to 24 hours.
If you haven’t received your result, you can contact the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 119.
Until you receive your result, you should self isolate at home.
If you test negative for the virus but still have symptoms, you must still self isolate.
If you test positive for coronavirus, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace who will establish where you’ve been recently and who you’ve been in close contact with.
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