Community testing offer extended to unpaid carers

Community testing, currently available to anyone who lives or works in Barnsley who cannot do their job from home and who can commit to twice weekly testing, is now on offer to unpaid carers. 

This testing opportunity is entirely voluntary and is available to anyone who is volunteering or providing care for a vulnerable person living in the borough. It’s aimed solely at people whose caring role means that they need to leave their home to support a vulnerable person, for example, doing essential shopping or taking someone for health appointments.

Booking a test appointment is essential. You can book for the asymptomatic testing offer at Barnsley Metrodome by accessing www.barnsley.gov.uk/coronavirus-rapid-test.

The reason for community testing is to help protect those who are at risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others due to the nature of their role. Around one in three people have COVID-19 without displaying symptoms so could spread the virus without knowing.

The test is usually completed within 30 minutes, and by attending regularly, people can help protect their families as well as the wider community.

If you’ve wondered what happens during the test process, take a look at our video, highlighting the journey through the test centre.

This test is only for people who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. 

Julia Burrows, Barnsley Director of Public Health, said: “We know that there are a number of unpaid carers in Barnsley who are incredibly anxious about being able to adequately protect their loved ones during this pandemic.

“If their caring role means that they have to leave their home, we want them to be included in our community testing offer to minimise the possibility of COVID-19 being brought inadvertently into their homes or the home of the person they care for.

“By attending for twice-weekly testing, they will be able to find out if they have COVID-19 so that they can take immediate precautions to keep their family member or friend as safe as possible.”

This community asymptomatic testing offer is in addition to Barnsley’s ongoing and well-established free testing service for those with symptoms, and it remains more important than ever for anyone with symptoms to get a test and isolate.   

If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), no matter how mild, you should get a test as soon as possible at one of our local testing centres by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test  or calling 119.

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