Hastings residents urged to book a test for any virus concern

HASTINGS residents are being urged to book a Covid test if they suspect they may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, as infection rates rise in the borough.

Concern about the rise in cases and high transmission rates has prompted public health advice that anyone who thinks they may have been in close contact with someone infectious should get a PCR test, even if they feel fine.

Getting tested as quickly as possible can help protect vulnerable residents and those who are not yet able to be vaccinated.

Anyone who has symptoms, even mild ones, or who has had a positive lateral flow test result or who has been confirmed as being in contact with someone who has tested positive should also book a PCR test.

A mobile testing unit will be operating from 9am to 3pm tomorrow, Wednesday, July 14, until Sunday, July 18 at St Leonards Academy in Edinburgh Road TN38 8HH.

This is in addition to the testing sites in Hastings and Bexhill. All tests must be pre-booked. PCR tests can also be ordered for home delivery.

While cases in Hastings have risen rapidly in recent days, to 360 per 100,000, much fewer people are needing hospital treatment in East Sussex than in previous waves. The most recent figures show 11 people being treated with Covid at hospitals in the county.

Darrell Gale, director of public health for East Sussex, said: “I’d strongly advise you to book a test if you think you may have been exposed to someone with the virus, and of course if you know you have been exposed, or if you have symptoms, even mild ones.

“The rise in cases here in Hastings is a concern, but by booking a test at the first suspicion of infection or contact, the community will be doing everything possible to identity and isolate the virus and protect each other.

“Test are free, quick and easy to book. Please don’t hesitate if you feel there’s a good chance you’ve been in contact with the virus, for instance in a crowded indoor space.”

Anyone with a positive result from a PCR test will be advised on how to self-isolate and the financial support that may be available.

For people who have no Covid symptoms, have not been asked to isolate and have no particular concerns that they might be infected, free lateral flow tests are available to give reassurance and should be used twice a week.

To book any coronavirus test, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/ or call 119.