Covid 19 Community Champions Newsletter – 21/10/2020

Hello Lewisham COVID-19 Community Champions!

Welcome back to another week of COVID-19 information that you can share with your community, friends and family. This week we will be discussing Testing and Self-Isolation. 

Topics of the Week:

When to get a COVID-19 test

  • Anybody with one or more symptom of: persistent cough, raised temperature or change in sense of taste or smell should request a test within 8 days of starting symptoms.
  • It is very important to self-isolate until the test result.
  • The only other reason to get a test is if asked to by a hospital or the council or if part of a Government pilot programme.
  • People who do not have symptoms do not need to book a test, even if they have been in contact with a person who has confirmed COVID-19.

How to get a COVID-19 test in Lewisham

Book a test by calling 119 or via the NHS website. This allows access to a test at a testing centre or by post.

There are two testing centres for Lewisham, which residents can access if they have booked a test:

  • A mobile testing unit every 3 days in the Canadian Avenue Truck Park, Catford, SE6 2TX
  • A walk through testing site in Vanguard Car Park, Deptford, SE8 4DQ, open 7 days a week.

Residents may be asked to take a test at a neighbouring borough.

What happens when I do a COVID-19 test?

The COVID-19 test is a self-swab, meaning that the individual does the test themselves. It is a short test that involves putting the swab in the nose and back of the throat. Watch the video of one of our Lewisham Team explaining the test process.

What to do with the test result

The test result should come back, usually via text message, in 2-3 days. The result will either be positive or negative.

positive result means you have the virus. You need to self-isolate.

  • If you had a test because you had symptoms, keep self-isolating for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you had a test but have not had symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test.
  • Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days from when you start self-isolating. 

negative result means you do not have the virus. You do not need to self-isolate as long as:

  • everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative.
  • everyone in your support bubble who has symptoms tests negative.
  • you were not told to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace or your local public health team
  • you feel well – if you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better.

What is “self-isolating”?

Self-isolating is for individuals who have or may have COVID-19 and is a vital way to reduce spread of the virus whilst also keeping the community going.

Self-isolating means staying in your house for all but the most essential activities such as going to hospital or getting a test. People who are self-isolating must not leave the house for general exercise or to go to work or school. They should ask someone else to do their food shopping or shop online. They must not use public transport or have visitors to the house. Not complying with self-isolating can lead to a penalty fine.

Anyone who needs extra help or financial support whist self-isolating can find it here

A person should self-isolate if:

  • They have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting a test result – self-isolate until the test result
  • They have a positive test result – self-isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms
  • Someone in their household has symptoms or a positive test result – self-isolate for 14 days
  • They have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace – self-isolate as instructed

Full details of how and why to self-isolate can be found here.

What is the NHS Test and Trace App?

  • The NHS has produced an app to help keep track of people who have COVID-19 and their contacts. It can be downloaded onto most smartphones. Before downloading the app make sure the smartphone has the most recent software update.
  • The app is straightforward to use and allows the Test and Trace Department to tell if the phone owner has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • The app allows individuals to check into venues using the venue QR code.
  • The app uses Bluetooth to check your surrounding area and it will alert you to any contact you may have had with COVID-19. The more people who sign up to use the app, the better it works.
  • There is an option to turn off the Bluetooth contact tracing if you know you are going into a high-risk area, such as a hospital.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 the Test and Trace Department will contact you with what to do next.

Updates and guidelines

Three- tier system

This week the Government has introduced a three-tier system for COVID-19 restrictions. The three tiers are:

  • Medium
  • High
  • Very High


Lewisham (and the whole of London) is in the Medium Tier, meaning that no changes have been made to previous guidance. Areas of the country in the High or Very High tiers have different guidance. 

Travelling abroad

If returning to the UK from abroad you will have to self-isolate for 14 days unless the country is on this list

The guidelines are always subject to change. If in doubt look for further information on the Government website or NHS website.  

And if in doubt remember,

Mythbusters

FACT: There are still tests available for COVID-19. If you need to book a test don’t be put off!

FACT: The COVID-19 swab only tests for COVID-19. It will not test for any other diseases or your DNA

FACT: The Test and Trace App uses people’s location to trace cases of COVID-19 only. It does not use and track other aspects of the individual’s life. The individual can control the way the data is used in the “Manage my data” section. 

Webinars

Our first webinar will be on Thursday 15th October 2020 at 6pm and will last 45 minutes. You can access the meeting via the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/93649424146?pwd=R2dsdVEvNlFMQ09YS3hHTlhhMG5sUT09

Meeting ID: 936 4942 4146

Passcode: 0wh6fu

This link will be the same for all webinars. 

Your input

This week we would like to ask you to complete a short survey so we can better get to know our Champions.

Please continue to send your community related COVID-19 questions and stories to covid19champions@lewisham.gov.uk

Best Wishes,

The Lewisham COVID-19 Community Champions Team

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