COVID-19 testing is available across Northamptonshire, in a variety of forms, depending on whether you have symptoms or not.
For residents experiencing symptoms, you will need to get a PCR test, this is known as
For residents who are not experiencing symptoms but need or want to be tested regularly, you are required to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test, this is a form of
Remember! If you test positive at any of the sites you will be required to self-isolate by law. If you are tested positive at an asymptomatic testing site, then you will need to go for a confirmatory PCR test.
Types of COVID-19 testing
Symptomatic PCR Testing
Symptomatic testing centres are for individuals experiencing any of the following symptoms or that think they may have COVID-19:
- A new, continuous cough
- High temperature
- Loss of or change to your sense of taste or smell
PCR tests are mainly used to confirm coronavirus cases in people with symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should begin self-isolation immediately and continue to do so whilst you are waiting for your test result.
A PCR test works by swabbing the back of your thoat and the inside of your nose. The sample is sent to a lab and you usually get a result in a couple of days.
Testing for people with symptoms
Asymptomatic LFD Testing (rapid testing)
The aim of testing people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, is to identify individuals who may be unknowingly transmitting Coronavirus within the community. Rapid testing is used to speed up the process.
Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from 9 April. 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unknowingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately.
A Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test works by swabbing the back of your throat and the inside of your nose. The swab is processed on site and can return results within 30 minutes. LFD tests are less accurate than PCR tests and mostly identifies COVID-19 in those most infectious.
A confirmatory PCR test is now required for anyone who tests positive using an LFD test.
For further information on asymptomatic testing and how to book, go to our asymptomatic testing page.
Testing for people without symptoms