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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 07/05

Posted on 11th May, 2021 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/latest-coronavirus-updates/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

Book a PCR test if you have Covid-19 symptoms

Somerset residents are being reminded that they need to book a PCR test if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ (rapid) test kit.

While the ‘lateral flow’ tests are a useful screening tool, the PCR test is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ and should be taken by anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell.

Also, if anyone takes a ‘lateral flow’ test at home and gets a positive result, they should book a further PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at a local Covid testing site to confirm the result.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “It is really important to understand the difference between the ‘lateral flow’ tests and the PCR test.

“The ‘lateral flow’ tests are only to be used by those displaying no symptoms. While they are a valuable guide, they should not be relied upon alone. Taking a PCR test will provide confirmation of the result.

“So, if you are displaying symptoms or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ test, please book a PCR test. As society starts to open up again, everyone needs to play their part to keep the virus under control and this involves testing.”

You can book or request a PCR test online or by calling 119.

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Assisted rapid testing now available in local pharmacies

People in Somerset can now access assisted covid-19 testing via pharmacies in the county. Regular testing is for people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 and is important because it helps to find cases which would otherwise go unidentified, as well as contributing to the process of identifying and suppressing new variants of concern.

So far, 19 Somerset pharmacies have signed up to provide assisted testing, so if you have never used a Lateral Flow (rapid) test before, it is a great way to be shown how to do the test correctly. You can then collect kits and do the testing at home.

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Number limit on mourners at funerals to be removed

The government has announced that the current legal limit of 30 mourners at funerals would be removed in England at step three of the roadmap, to take place from 17 May at the earliest.

Instead, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues.

Limits for other life or commemorative events at step three, such as weddings and wakes, are expected to remain as set out in the roadmap.

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