Testing for people without symptoms
Now restrictions are lifted, it is more important than ever to take part in twice weekly testing even if you don't have symptoms.
If you do not have Covid-19 symptoms, you can order a home testing kit to be delivered to your home or contact County Durham Together Community Hub on 03000 260 260 if you have no internet access.
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, do not use this service. You can find information on booking a test if you have symptoms on the Testing for people with symptoms page.
Why you should get a test if you don't have symptoms
One in three people with Covid-19 do not show symptoms. LFD testing can help us to identify positive cases we would otherwise miss due to a person not showing symptoms. Identifying infectious individuals early, and those they have been in close contact with, and then isolating them can significantly reduce transmission of the virus.
Ordering or collecting home testing kits
You must always register the result of your home test at Gov.uk: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result.
What the test involves
There are two types of LFD home test kits being offered to the public, with the only difference being one test involves a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. The other involves a swab of the inside of your nose only, again using a long cotton bud.
Once swabbed you then place the tip of the swab into the solution rotating for 15 seconds. You then squeeze an allotted amount of drops of the liquid onto the testing kit and wait for the result. The instructions in your pack will tell you the amount of amount of drops of the liquid you need to apply to the test kit and the time you have to wait for the result depending on the home test kit you have.
Whether your test result is negative, positive or void, you will need to register the result at Gov.uk: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result. The process is very simple.
Accuracy of the test
The Department of Health and Social Care has said extensive clinical evaluation have shown the tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used for asymptomatic testing in the community. However, no test is 100% accurate and there's still a chance you can be infectious, even if you test negative. This is why following a negative result, it is important that you still continue to follow all national guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing face coverings and washing your hands regularly.
Your test results
What happens if you test positive
If you test positive, using a lateral flow test or home test, you must self-isolate immediately for 10 full days. Contact tracing will be initiated through the NHS or local contact tracing team for close contacts.
You will be asked to book a follow up PCR test, which can be booked at Gov.uk: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus selecting the 'you've been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result' option.
If you need to self-isolate, you and your contacts may be able to claim a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment - see Apply for a test and trace support payment.
You can also get support if you need to self-isolate - see Get help if you're self-isolating.
What happens if you test negative
If you test negative, please continue to follow all national guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing face coverings and washing your hands regularly.
A negative test does not change the current rules we all need to follow. It's also important to remember that as with all tests, there are false negatives and the test may not pick up that you have the virus.
Ask a question
If this page doesn't answer your question, you can use our Covid-19: general enquiry form and we will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.