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Free Covid-19 tests now available to people in Gwent with a wider range of symptoms 

People in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen who have a wider range of symptoms and feel generally unwell are now encouraged to get a free test for Coronavirus.

As well as the three classic coronavirus symptoms of a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss or change of taste and smell, you can now get a test with other symptoms too.

These additional symptoms include:

  • Flu-like symptoms including aching or painful muscles, excessive tiredness, persistent headache, runny nose or blocked nose, persistent sneezing, sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing.

You should also book a test if you:

  • Are generally feeling unwell or if you’ve recently been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • Have any new symptoms, or a change in symptoms even if you have previously tested negative

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board are operating 14 testing facilities. Results in most cases are returned within 24 hours.

People who have any of the new symptoms are requested to stay at home and arrange a test at a facility near to them by phoning 119 or booking online.

When booking a test, you may automatically be asked about the classic three symptoms. However, when booking online, you can simply select ‘you have been asked to take a test by your local council’.

You can also speak to the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s testing service by calling 0300 30 31 222.

Jonathan Keen, head of the Gwent Test, Trace, Protect Service, said: “We appreciate the huge efforts and sacrifices made by people across Wales in helping to tackle the spread of coronavirus. However, current evidence shows that a third wave is a real threat, so identifying infections that could otherwise go undetected is particularly important as new variants of the virus emerge and restrictions are eased.

“The more tests we carry out, the easier it will be to spot early clusters of cases; detect possible virus mutations and more importantly protect friends and family. This will also help with continued easing restrictions.”

Dr Sarah Aitken, executive director of Public Health at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “Our aim is to find Covid-19 cases in our communities and drive down the numbers of onward transmissions.  The risk remains significantly higher in indoors and while the risk is not reduced to zero, it is safer to spend time with other people outdoors due to increased ventilation”.

“We must all keep doing the things that keep us safe, like wearing face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and good ventilation when indoors. Everyone’s aim needs to be to keep the rates as low as possible, so if in any doubt, get a test.”

Jonathan Keen added: “We are asking anyone taking a test because of the additional symptoms to stay home and self-isolate until you receive your result, which is usually within 24-hours. If the result is positive, you and your household must self-isolate for ten days. You will also be contacted by the local Contact Tracing Team. However, if your result is negative, you can end your self-isolation, when you feel well enough to do so.”

If you have been told to self-isolate and can’t work from home you could get a payment of up to £500 to help with loss of earnings. Find out more from Torfaen Council.

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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Free Covid-19 tests now available to people in Gwent with a wider range of symptoms 

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