Please find useful updates related to access to coronavirus testing , the Test and Trace App, key messages and communication materials summarised below.

Since the Communities of Interest network was formed back in March, we have been sharing an overview of key issues, developments and resources with community-based organisations on a weekly basis, with the idea that they cascade the information to the organisations and people they work with. If you would like to receive these updates, please subscribe by emailing [email protected]. You can find out more about the Communities of Interest Network here.

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Important Update on Test and Trace Covid App and QR Codes

The new NHS Test and Trace App will launch next week on 24 September, and Leeds City Council is encouraging all venues in the city to get ready for the App. This means getting a QR code for the venue, and making and displaying a poster. You can find out more on gov.uk here. Information about the App is available here, and this guidance covers how to create a QR code. You should create and display a QR code if you are:

  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
  • an event which is taking place in a physical location

Organisations should still maintain an alternative means to maintain contact details for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.

Please spread this message amongst your networks to help to ensure that as many places as possible are covered in Leeds to help manage the rate of infection through the winter. We’d be interested to hear any views or feedback on this and its implementation. You can access the latest guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace here.   

Access to Testing, Including for Key Workers and Their Immediate Families

Leeds City Council is continuing to encourage people to access a coronavirus test by booking through the online national booking system or dialling 119, which will direct you to one of the walk-in, drive-through or mobile testing sites in Leeds. People should only try and get a test if they have symptoms. The advice is to keep trying, and feedback has been received that being persistent pays off. The best times to try seem to be around 9.00am or 6.00 pm.

Whilst there are issues with the national system, Leeds has set up an additional venue at the Mandela Centre, Chapeltown Road Leeds West Yorkshire LS7 3HY, Monday to Friday 9am-3:15pm, but with limited availability. This site is available only for symptomatic key workers or their immediate families.  As this site has been set-up by Leeds City Council, it is not available to book on the national system.  If you are a key worker and do attend the Mandela Centre, please be aware that there may be a queue and wait time.  Please remember to socially distance, and wear a face mask.

Other avenues are currently being explored to increase testing capacity, both as a workaround for the national issues and more broadly to increase availability in the city. Any progress on this will be shared ASAP. For more information on how to access testing, visit NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group website.

Hands Face Space Campaign Materials

The new Hands, Face, Space campaign urges people to continue to wash their hands, cover their face, and make space to control the spread of coronavirus and reduce infection rates. Marketing and communication assets to support the campaign are available via the PHE Campaign Resource CentreThis video helps to explain the importance of social distancing to people of all ages.

Testing Key Messages

To stop the spread of the virus remember Hands. Face. Space: wash your hands regularly, use a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep your distance from those not in your household.

There is now very high demand for coronavirus tests and it is vital we test people with symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus.

If you have covid symptoms, you must get a test.

If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test.

We all need to play our part to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it.

A recent survey at testing sites found a quarter of people turning up did not have symptoms. If you don’t have coronavirus symptoms, and have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, you should not be booking a test.

If you have any coronavirus symptoms you must isolate immediately for 10 days (don’t wait for a test or a test result before doing so)

If you are identified as a contact of a positive case you must isolate for the full 14 days (even if for some reason you got a negative test during that period)

You should NOT get tested:

If you have returned from abroad or are about to travel, you are returning to the workplace, you have been in contact with a confirmed case or if another member of your household has symptoms. You may be advised to isolate if you have been in contact with a confirmed case but you should only get a test if you have symptoms.

By following these simple rules, we can ensure people who need a test can get one.

When to get a test or not:

  • Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
  • Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. We do not provide certificates for travel purposes. You can pay for a private test.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, we are unable to provide this service. You should only get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then they must get tested and the rest of your household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. Most people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on gov.uk.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate.
  • If you have been abroad and are quarantining, you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to quarantine.
  • Do not stockpile tests. If you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.
  • If you have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online or by ringing 119. Do not call 111 which is an urgent care service and cannot help with tests.