Test, trace, self-isolate

Updated 23.02.21 @ 11:15

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

There are other symptoms that have been reported by people who have tested positive, such as: a persistent headache, diarrhoea, fever and chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion or runny nose and nausea or vomiting.

Read more about the extended list of symptoms on the CDC's website. The World Health Organisation website also contains information on known symptoms.

How to get a test

SMART testing for people without symptoms

People without symptoms of coronavirus who have 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: 11am-6:30pm (Mon-Fri)
  • King George’s Hall, Blackburn open: 10am-5.30pm (Mon-Fri)
  • Earcroft Children’s Centre (Monton Road, off Blackburn Road, Darwen, BB3 0AF) open: 9.30am-3.30pm (Mon-Fri)
  • Work at Over Darwen House, BB3 2RG open: 9.30am-3.30pm (Mon-Fri)

With infection rates remaining higher those living in the vicinity of the hub sites are also encouraged to attend for regular tests.

Further information about SMART testing.

Testing for people with symptoms

If you are worried or have any doubts about any possible covid-19 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 and contact tracing

You’ll usually get a text or email with your result when it’s ready. If you use the NHS Covid-19 app, you may also get your results in the app.

If you test positive you have a legal duty to self-isolate. If you do not self-isolate you may be fined at least £1,000 and upto £10,000 for multiple breaches.

The NHS Test and Trace team will contact you if you have tested positive for Covid-19 and obtain details of anyone you have been in contact with.

You have a legal duty to stay at home for a period ending 10 days after the onset of symptoms, or if you have had no symptoms, for 10 days after the date of your positive test. People in your household must stay at home for 14 days.

Please read the section below on ‘Self-isolating’ and ‘Finance Support available’

You can read more about test results on the NHS website.

Blackburn with Darwen 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.

Personal information

The Council or NHS 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)

You will not be asked for

  • Bank details or payments
  • Details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • Passwords or PIN numbers
  • You won’t be asked to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

All information you provide to the NHS or the Council 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. This is because it can take upto 14 days for Covid-19 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

If you test positive for Covid-19 or have been identified as a close contact by the NHS, you have a legal duty to self-isolate. Failure to do so will be an offence carrying a fine or at least £1000 and upto £10,000 for multiple breaches.

If you test positive you must self-isolate for 10 days following the onset of symptoms, or for those who did not have symptoms, 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.

If you test positive, other members of your household must also self-isolate for a period of 10 days after the onset of your symptoms, or if asymptomatic, 10 days from the date of the test.

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.

Financial support for those self-isolating

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

Businesses undertaking SMART testing

SMART testing is available for everyone in the borough. However we know that not everyone can visit the SMART testing site. We have therefore made arrangements for workplace SMART testing.

This testing is especially important for key businesses which need to stay open during lockdown. It is estimated that around one in three people might display no symptoms, but are still infections. It is vital to break these chains of transmission and bring down infection rates.

It is free to join the programme and we will support businesses throughout the process providing equipment and training.

If you are interested in joining please email smarttesting@blackburn.gov.uk

More information on smart testing in the workplace is available here.

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.

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.