As well as the three most common symptoms of Covid-19 - a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell - people are now able to get a test if they have any of a new list of other symptoms too.
These are: Flu-like symptoms, which are not caused by a known conditions such may be hay fever, including any or all of: myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing; any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test.
In line with the recent Welsh Government announcement, the Betsi Cadwaladr Test, Trace Protect Service will also be offering all identified contacts of those who have tested positive a test, rather than asking them to wait until they develop symptoms, and offering tests to anyone who has had a change in their symptoms following a previous negative test result.
The changes are being made help find cases of new variants of COVID-19 and identify people who may be at risk of passing on the disease to others without knowing. A number of health board areas in Wales are already testing in this way.
Teresa Owen, Executive Director for Public Health, said: “The number of cases of COVID-19 in the Betsi Cadwaladr health board area has been steadily falling since February. In order to keep numbers down and further facilitate the easing of the national restrictions we need to further improve finding those cases which could otherwise go undetected as early as we can.
“We know that one in three people who have the virus do not have any of the classic three symptoms and that the new variants of the virus that are circulating in Wales can cause people to become unwell in different ways. We have expanded the criteria for getting a test in line with this to make sure we are able to identify every case that we can.
“It is especially important now as lockdown eases that anyone who may have the virus is tested and so as the restrictions are eased our message is simple – if you have any symptoms, get a test.
I must remind the residents to continue to adhere to the measures in place and continue to keep the distance, maintain hand hygiene, wear face coverings where required and stay in well ventilated spaces.”
Residents of Betsi Cadwaladr can access a test at any of the regional testing centres, or by using a home test kit.
Tests can be booked online or by calling 119. When booking online due to the wider list of symptoms residents should select the option “you have been asked to take a test by your local council.”
National guidance relating to Coronavirus symptoms to look out for has not changed. It is normal for regional Incident Management Teams to communicate a different threshold for getting a test based on circumstances locally.