Coronavirus-info

Community COVID testing - how to book a test and your questions answered

Community COVID testing for people in Hartlepool who don’t have symptoms of the virus has started and people are being encouraged to play their part by getting a test.

Up to a third of people with COVID don’t have any symptoms and so can spread it without knowing, so testing as many people as possible to find out if they have COVID and then helping them to self isolate if they do is an important way of fighting the virus and bringing it under control.

Testing takes place at Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road. Anyone who is aged 18 or over who lives or works in Hartlepool and who does not have COVID symptoms can get a test and is encouraged to do so (except people who are shielding).

Particularly encouraged to get a test are those people who are unable to work from home, come into contact with the public and have no access to other rapid testing – for example taxi drivers, tradespeople, carers, social workers and nursery staff, etc.

Tests must be booked in advance - you can't just turn up. You can book a test now by clicking HERE or by calling 01429 523330 during normal office hours. You don’t have to get a test, but the more people who come along and get tested, the faster Hartlepool can bring virus case numbers down.

If you are booking a test, you must ensure that you have your own mobile phone, which you will need to bring with you to the testing centre because you will receive your test result by text. Because of the data protection laws, you can't use someone else's mobile phone.   

THE TESTING CENTRE AT MILL HOUSE LEISURE CENTRE IS ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE COVID SYMPTOMS.

YOU MUST NOT COME TO THE TESTING CENTRE IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE COVID SYMPTOMS, INCLUDING:

  • a high temperature.

  • a new, continuous cough.

  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

If you have any COVID symptoms you must self-isolate and book a different test straight away at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

The test at Mill House is simple and quick and involves you coming along to the testing centre, where you will be given a swab and sent to a sample collection booth.

You will be asked to take a swab of your tonsils (or where they would have been at the back of your throat) as well as one nostril. It’s simple to do and trained staff will be on hand to explain to you how to do it.

The test only takes a few minutes and you will receive your result by text. You will get your result within 24 hours, and in most cases within an hour. You will also be given advice on what to do if your test comes back positive.

Frequently-asked questions

Can I come for a test even though we're in lockdown?

Yes - lockdown does not affect you coming for a test.

Do I have to get a test?

You don’t have to get a test, but the more people who get tested the faster Hartlepool can bring down its virus numbers. With Hartlepool still battling very high rates of COVID, we're urging everyone aged 18 or over who lives or works in Hartlepool (except for those who are shielding) to please play their part by getting a test.

Should I come to the centre if I have any COVID symptoms?

No - you must not come to the testing centre if you have any of the COVID symptoms, including a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste. If you have any COVID symptoms you must self-isolate and book a different test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. The testing centre at Mill House Leisure Centre is only for people who don't have any COVID symptoms.

Should I come for a test if I am shielding?

No - please do not come for a test if you are shielding.

Do I have to pay anything for the test?

No - the testing is free.

Why do I have to book - can't I just turn up?

We're using a booking system so that we can strictly manage the numbers of people coming through the testing centre at any one time, to maintain social distancing and therefore safety.

Is there anything I need to bring with me?

You'll be given full details on the booking page or when you call the booking number (see the introduction above for the link to the booking web page and the booking telephone number), but the most important thing to bring with you is a mobile phone as you will receive your test result by text. Because of the data protection laws, you can't use someone else's mobile phone.   

What if I don't have a mobile phone?

Please speak to our booking team before you book on 01429 523330 during normal office hours.

Will I need to wear a face mask when I attend the testing centre?

Yes - unless you have a medical exemption you must attend wearing your face mask.

Can I park at Mill House Leisure Centre?

Yes - you can park at Mill House Leisure Centre just for the duration of your test visit and the parking is free.

Can I come early?

No - please arrive at your allocated time - do not arrive early. We must maintain a regulated flow of people arriving at the testing centre.

Is there disabled access?

Yes - there is disabled access. If you require this, please let us know in advance when booking so that we can make your visit as easy as possible.  

Can I bring someone with me?

For social distancing reasons, we ask people to please attend their test appointment on their own. However, if you do need some personal support, such as help with mobility for example, you are welcome to bring with you a family member or carer, provided they are in your 'bubble.' However, you must not bring with you anyone who has any COVID symptoms.

If my test result comes back positive and I have to self-isolate, what support is available?

If you or someone you know needs advice or support, Hartlepool Support Hub is still here for you. It's on hand to help you stay safe, stay well and stay connected, particularly if you are self-isolating or shielding. You can contact the Support Hub on 01429 272905 10am to 4pm Mondays to Fridays, or by emailing helping@hartlepool.gov.uk. There's also lots of information at www.hartlepoolnow.co.uk, which is also available as an App from Google Play or the App Store.      

There's lots of support available to those who are struggling financially as a result of the COVID pandemic, including Test and Trace Support Payments. For more information visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/coronavirus-info

What if I have any other questions about Community COVID testing?

Please call our booking team on 01429 523330 during normal office hours and they'll be happy to help.