Everyone living or working in Bedford Borough can now get a free Covid-19 test, whether you have symptoms or not.
Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
Testing for those with symptoms of Covid-19
There are two walk through testing centres in Bedford for residents showing symptoms of Coronavirus. Appointments must be booked in advance before attending. Please do not travel if you do not have an appointment.
Drive-through testing is available at Gilbert Hitchcock House, Bedford Hospital and at Borough Hall. Residents are directed to their nearest available site. Appointments must booked in advance before attending. Please do not travel if you do not have an appointment.
If you’re an essential worker (or live with one) you can apply for priority testing through GOV.UK by following the guidance for essential workers on the government website.
If you are unable to get to a testing centre, you can order a home testing kit through the national testing website.
You can find further details on testing on the government webpages.
Care home residents and workers
If you think your care home has a coronavirus outbreak but no one has been tested yet, contact your local health protection team. They will carry out the first tests. For testing in other situations, you should apply for testing kits.
At the moment you can only apply for tests if your care home looks after older people, or people with dementia. You can apply whether or not any of your residents or staff have Coronavirus symptoms.
For information on how to apply for the tests, visit GOV.UK's page on tests for care homes.
Twice weekly rapid testing for adults living and working in Bedford Borough
Rapid ‘no symptom' testing is now available to everyone over 18 who lives or works in Bedford Borough, and home testing kits are available for collection.
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so twice weekly testing will help to prevent the spread of the disease and keep infection rates low.
Anyone over 18 can have an assisted rapid test at the Faraday Community Centre, Kelvin Ave, Bedford MK42 9ND (no need to book, just turn up on the day). Testing is available from 7am to midday, and from 1pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Alternatively adults can collect a pack of 7 tests to use at home from the following locations, or they can be ordered online for home delivery.
Home test kit collection sites:
- Faraday Community Centre (search location and opening times)
- Participating community pharmacies (search location and opening times)
- Bedford Central, Kempston, Putnoe, Wootton and Bromham libraries during their normal opening hours
Rapid tests are quick and easy to do, but their accuracy improves with practice and training, so if it is your first test we recommend that you have an assisted test at the Faraday Community Centre before collecting your home test kit.
Anyone testing at home will need to register their results online or by calling 119. If the result is positive they should self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test by visiting GOV.UK - get a Coronavirus test.
Rapid tests do not detect 100% of infections so it is important to still follow all the guidelines and remember Hands - Face - Space - Fresh Air.
Remember, the rapid tests should not be used if you have any COVID symptoms - if you have COVID symptoms you must isolate immediately and book a PCR test.
If you have had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days then you do not need to take a rapid test.
Surge testing in Bedford Borough has finished
Surge testing has been taking place in the Cauldwell, Kingsbrook and Queens Park areas of Bedford Borough to identify as many positive cases as possible and break chains of transmission.
We would like to thank residents in these areas who took up the offer of a free PCR test at either a Mobile Testing Unit site, a collect and drop off site or during the recent door-to-door distribution of testing kits.
If you still need to return a completed test kit please drop it at the Prebend Street or University of Bedfordshire testing sites, or by post in a priority post box.
Rapid testing for businesses
Businesses of all sizes are being encouraged to set up their own free rapid testing schemes. Employers can find out how to register on the GOV.UK website here. You must have registered on or before 31 March 2021.