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Getting tested for COVID-19

Do I need to get tested for Coronavirus

Most people with the virus have at least one of these symptoms:

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  • A fever
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of sense of taste or smell

If you are unsure you can use the NHS Coronavirus online symptom checker, or call 111.

If you think you have symptoms;

  • you should stay at home and isolate and only leave home to get a test. You should isolate for 10 days.
  • If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, having been in contact with somebody positive, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early.

The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you won’t go on to develop the virus. That means you could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people.

For a full explaination of what self isolation means, when you should do it and the support avilable to you, please read our self isolation guide.

Read the self isolation guide

If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you have been a close contact of someone with the virus, you only need to get a test if you have symptoms.

Otherwise, you should just stay at home and isolate for 10 days.

If you get tested and it comes back negative you still need to isolate for the full 10 days, as the virus could still develop.

If you have been told to self-isolate by the national Test and Trace service, you may then receive a follow up call from Cornwall Council local case review service.

Find out more about case review

Workers in self-isolation are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for every day they are in isolation, as long as they meet the eligibility conditions. 

Find out more about claiming sick pay

If you receive certain benefits you may be entitled to the test and trace support grant. You can find out more on our financial support pages.

There are permanent walk-in testing facilities for people with Covid-19 symptoms available at:

  • Penzance - St Erbyn's Car park

  • Truro - Tregurra park and ride

  • Falmouth - 51 Wellington Terrace

  • Bodmin - Chy Trevail Car Park

  • Liskeard - Westbourne Car Park

  • Camborne - Heartlands Car Park

  • Plymouth - information on sites in Plymouth is available on the Plymouth City Council website.

Mobile unit locations vary but are often available in the following areas:

  • Bude
  • Launceston

Testing for people with no symptoms of Covid-19 are currently available at council office car parks in:

  • Camborne (Dolcoath Avenue)
  • St Austell (Penwinnick Road)
  • Liskeard (Luxstowe House)

Book a test

If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test via the NHS website using the link above or if you have problems using the internet, call 119.

For community, school and workplace testing for people with no symptoms, please see our information on Community Testing and Lateral Flow Devices

Please do not go to your GP surgery, or to an emergency department at a hopsital if you can't get a test. Please stay at home and continue to isolate.

After day 5 you must continue to self-isolate if you cannot get a test. You will need to self-isolate for at least 10 days following onset of symptoms and can stop self-isolation after 10 days if either: 

  • you do not have any symptoms
  • you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone. 

Cornwall-based workers who carry out essential duties but are unable to work from home can access twice-weekly asymptomatic testing using lateral flow devices. This is also now available to households with school and college age children.

Book a COVID-19 lateral flow test 

For more information please see our community school and workplace testing page.