Test, trace and vaccination

Updated 21.01.21 @ 17:55

Getting the Vaccine

The NHS has opened three vaccination centres in the borough to vaccinate all those eligible. When it is your turn to have the vaccination you will receive a letter, email or a text from the NHS inviting you to book an appointment. It is really important that the public don’t try to book or go to these services before receiving the invitation from the NHS. Please don’t delay in getting your vaccination.

There are three vaccination centres in the Borough. For more information about parking sites please read our shuttle article - Please do not attend the centres unless you have been invited to do so by the NHS.

  • Blackburn Cathedral – free parking is available at Weir Street and Penny Street
  • Barbara Castle Way Health Centre – free parking at Simmons Street
  • Darwen Health Centre – free parking at Bank Bottoms

The public have an important part to play to help the NHS deliver what is the largest vaccination programme in our history. Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you. When they do contact you, please attend your booked appointments, and please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

If you need help getting to a vaccination centre to receive your vaccine please contact our help hub on 01254 588111 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

You can find case studies of local people who have had the vaccine here.

Popular FAQ

The NHS are looking for people to get involved with supporting the vaccination programme. There are lots of different roles – including paid employment and volunteering. Check the local NHS website.

About the vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare produced Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Information about the ingredients of the vaccine.

Further information about the development of the vaccine.

Information about vaccine safety and efficiency.

Popular FAQ

Vaccination priority list

The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it most.

The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to book your vaccination. Current evidence strongly indicates that the single greatest risk of death from Covid-19 is increasing age. With this in mind, the NHS roll out of the vaccine is based on age:

  • Those aged over 80 years
  • Those aged over 75 years
  • Those aged over 70 years
  • Adults on the NHS shielding patient list
  • Those aged over 65 years
  • Adults under 65 with long term conditions

Popular FAQ

Vaccination scams

The Covid-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS. You will not need to pay for it. To receive your vaccine the NHS or Council will not ask you for:

  • Your bank account or card details
  • Your pin or banking password
  • Copies of personal documents to prove your identity such as your passport, driving license, bills or pay slips.

Popular FAQ

Symptoms of Covid-19

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you’re worried about your symptoms.

Get tested

SMART Testing

Everyone who has to leave their home to work during the lockdown should get tested at least once a week to stop the spread of the virus. SMART tests are available at the venues below. You do not need to book and your test results will usually be available in half an hour. You will need a mobile number or email address to register when you arrive.

  • Ewood Park (Darwen End) open 11:00-18:30
  • King George’s Hall, Blackburn open 10:00-17:30

Further information about SMART testing.

Other ways to get a test

If you have symptoms you can also attend one of the borough’s other walk-in testing facilities or the permanent testing site outside the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Appointments for the site outside the hospital are available via the national system. You can register and book online or by calling 119. The registration process takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. This provides you with an appointment.

We also have two walk-in sites at the locations below. Please note that these sites do not offer SMART tests and therefore your results will taken longer to arrive. You can book an appointment on-line, or just attend the site.

  • Blackburn college car park open 08:00-20:00
  • Railway Road car park, Darwen open 08:00-20:00

Parking is not available on site. Free parking is available on Knott Street, Atlas Road or Darwen Market Roof Top.

Please maintain social distancing and wear a face covering when you attend for a test.

A home test kit is available by calling 119 or you can request a home kit to be posted out to you online. When you have done your test at home and are ready to post your kit back, you need to use a Royal Mail priority postbox. You can find your nearest priority postbox on the Royal Mail website.

Test results

The NHS Test and Trace team will contact you if you have tested positive for Coronavirus to give you advice about what to do next and obtain details of anyone you have been in contact with.

If you test positive for coronavirus, you have a legal duty to stay at home for a period ending 10 days after the onset of symptoms. People in your household have a legal duty to stay at home for 14 days.

From 28 September in England, there will be a new legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, to self-isolate. Failure to comply with this new duty will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches

The new duty means that anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts will have a legal duty to self-isolate.

Follow the national stay at home regulations for households with possible or confirmed Covid-19 infection.

The NHS Test and Trace team will ask you where you have been recently and who you've been in close contact with. This will help them contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.

Please note this service operates over 7 days between 8am - 8pm so may you be contacted anytime during these times.

If you need practical advice and support as a result of household isolation, please contact the BwD Help Hub

Local test and trace

If the NHS Test and Trace team have been unable to contact you within 48 hours, your case will be passed to the local Blackburn with Darwen Council Test and Trace team who will contact you.

The Council will contact you by text or phone.

Text messages/Calls will come from 01254 585995. It is important that you reply to these messages and calls.

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.

If we fail to contact you via text or phone a Blackburn with Darwen public protection officer and/ or another member of our partner services will be sent to your residence in person to contact you.

The Council will ask you:

  • Your name, date of birth and postcode
  • If you live with other people
  • Any places you've been recently, such as a workplace or school
  • Names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)

Blackburn with Darwen Council Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

All information you provide to Blackburn with Darwen Council Test and Trace service is confidential. No one who is contacted as a result of your positive test will be told your identity.

Anyone you've been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days by the NHS. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

Self isolating

the period of self-isolation has changed from 14 to 10 days. Read the statement.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you also must self-isolate for 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.

Duty to self isolate

From 28 September in England, there will be a new legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, to self-isolate. Failure to comply with this new duty will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.

The new duty means that anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts will have a legal duty to self-isolate.

Those testing positive for COVID-19 will be legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after the onset of symptoms or, for people who did not have symptoms when they were tested, 10 days after the date of the test. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms. Other members of the household will be legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after the onset of the infected person’s symptoms (or, if they were asymptomatic, after the date of the test).

Non-household contacts will be obliged to self-isolate for the period notified to them by NHS Test and Trace (the period ending 10 days after their most recent exposure to the person who has tested positive).

Please read the Government guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.

You may have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from a country that is not on the travel corridor exempt list. Please check the Government website for further details, including how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.

Covid-19 Rehab programme

The NHS have launched a Covid-19 Recovery service for those who may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both the body and mind. Find out more.

Financial support for those self-isolating

Information on the financial support that may be available to you.

Businesses undertaking SMART testing

We have created the following FAQs to support your employees whilst the SMART testing programme is in place at your workplace or a community site.

  • What is SMART testing?
    SMART stands for Systematic Meaningful Asymptomatic Repeated Targeted testing. The SMART testing programme uses lateral flow devices for testing. Lateral flow tests do not need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis so results are available quicker; in approximately 30 minutes
  • Why should I get tested?
    One in three people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms and so can pass on the virus without knowing it. This type of testing is an important tool in fighting the virus. It can make a real difference in increasing our chances of becoming a lower tier area.
  • Who can take the test?
    Businesses within the borough have been invited to take part in the SMART testing programme. This could involve a temporary testing site being set up on their premises or offered access to testing at a local venue. You will be notified by your employer if your place of work is part of SMART testing.
  • When and where can I get tested?
    Employees of businesses invited to the testing programme will be informed by their employer of where the on-site testing station will be or nearest community venue.
  • Who will do the test?
    You can take the test swab yourself. It takes approximately 15 minutes.
  • When will I get the results?
    Results from a SMART test can be ready really quickly – usually after 30 minutes. You will receive a text message to notify you of your result.
  • What happens if I test positive?
    If you test positive you will need to self-isolate and book a PCR test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to confirm you have the virus.
  • I have had Covid. Can I still take a lateral flow test?
    Please do not take a lateral flow test if you have had coronavirus in the last 90 days. If you feel unwell you should book a PCR test www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.

Download the rapid COVID-19 self-test instructions.

Antibody testing

Antibody testing is a key part of the Government’s testing programme and will play an increasingly important role as we move into the next phase of responding to this epidemic.

Free antibody testing is not widely available yet. It’s currently offered to NHS and care staff, as well as some hospital patients and care home residents.

Patients who are already having blood taken as part of other tests (either in hospital or in their GP practice) will be asked whether they would like an antibody test. You can read further information on the NHS website.

If you’ve had coronavirus, you can donate blood plasma to help researchers find treatments. Read more about how to get involved.