It’s now more important than ever to get a test right away if you have COVID symptoms

Published Thursday, 7th January 2021

As the country battles against the new faster-spreading strain of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for people in Hartlepool to get a test straight away if they have any of the virus symptoms.

The main symptoms are still:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste

Craig Blundred, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The new variant of the virus is spreading at a very alarming rate and it’s between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible – that means you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on.

“So as well as everyone following the national lockdown rules, it’s equally vital to book a test right away if you have one or more of the Coronavirus symptoms.

“As we’ve said before, we’d much rather you booked a test immediately even if it then comes back negative, than adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach for a day or two, because during that time if you do have the virus you could very well be spreading it to other people and you could also become more poorly yourself.”

People can get a test in Hartlepool during the weekend as well as during the week.

Tests are available at the Department of Health and Social Care’s mobile drive-through testing unit at the Hartlepool Waterfront site and at the walk-through testing facilities in the Grayfields car park off Jesmond Gardens and at the Headland Town Square.

Tests must be booked – people can’t just turn up.

People can book online at or by calling 119 – don’t use 111.

The Government’s test booking system releases testing appointment slots throughout the day, so if people can’t immediately obtain a local testing appointment, they should please try again later in the day. Home testing kits can also be ordered, for people who can’t get to a testing site. 

If someone in a household starts to have symptoms, that person must get tested and the rest of their household must self-isolate as well while the person waits for his/her results. This also applies to anyone in the person’s support bubble.

If the other members of the household don’t have symptoms, they should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. The vast majority of people who are tested in person get their results the very next day.

If people are self-isolating or in quarantine, a negative test result does not mean they can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that they won’t go on to develop the virus. That means they could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people.

Craig Blundred added: “I would once again like to thank everyone who has booked a test so far – you’ve played a critical part in helping to fight the Coronavirus, protect our most vulnerable members of the community and protect the NHS.”