Coronavirus: Observer staff member tells of testing experience - The Leamington Observer

Coronavirus: Observer staff member tells of testing experience

Leamington Editorial 23rd Mar, 2020   0

AN OBSERVER staff member tested for coronavirus has told of the experience.

He called the NHS 111 number after having a slight cough for several days which was followed by a high temperature.

While the government website advises not to get tested but self isolate if suffering symptoms, it was recently announced checks for the virus were set to be increased to 25,000 a day within four weeks.

The staff member – who is asthmatic and falls into the ‘vulnerable’ category – was told to drive to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for a test to be carried out.

Staff at NHS 111 called ahead to let the hospital know who he was and when he would be arriving.

Once at the ‘testing pods’ at the hospital, outside there is an intercom where details including name, address and date of birth are given.

The patient then enters a waiting room and sits with all other suspected cases. In our employee’s experience two other people were awaiting tests.

They are then called into a room with two nurses wearing full body protective suits, masks and gloves who take a swab from each nostril and one from the back of the throat. Patients are advised to self isolate for seven days and will only be contacted if results come back as positive.

Speaking about the test our employee said: “They asked about where I work, live, where I had been and who I have been in contact with.

“The whole appointment took about 40 minutes, it was very quick. I was told I would receive a call within 48 hours if my result is positive, if not I hear nothing.

“Nurses working at the hospital were lovely, there was no sense of panic and they really put me at ease. They are doing a fantastic job.”

Our staff member was tested on Thursday and has not heard anything from the hospital as of Monday morning. He remains self-isolating at home.

Government advises those with a high temperature or a new, continuous cough to stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people they should self isolate for 14 days from the day the first person showed symptoms.

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