COVID test: Quick and simple - this is what happens at Fife's asymptomatic test centres
Following the announcement that a second asymptomatic Covid test centre had opened in Kirkcaldy, I was invited to visit it – and take a test.
I will admit I was a bit nervous about the experience, but any worries I had proved to be unfounded.
I visited the Glebe Centre in Kirkcaldy which was the first community testing site for people without Covid-19 symptoms to open in the town . You can wear your own face mask to attend, but they are also available when you arrive.
Participants who go for a lateral flow test are helping the NHS to identify people in the local area who do not have symptoms but are infectious, and could be spreading the virus unknowingly.
On arrival you are asked to register using your mobile phone - but don’t worry if you don’t have one as people are on site to help you register.
You are then asked a few simple questions.
You are also asked if you would like support provided – for example, if you need practical help with food or financial support which is offered if you need to self-isolate.
You are given a bar code which you then present to an assistant who can help you fill out a form with your contact details.
I was then directed to a sanitised booth where someone wearing PPE behind a perspex screen was waiting to guide me through the test.
There are also instructions on the wall of the booth for you to follow.
You carry out the test yourself.
Firstly you need to blow your nose to get rid of any excess mucus, and then use the hand sanitiser provided before you use the swab.
The first thing you do is to swab your tonsils a few times which can be hard to do without gagging I will admit, but it only takes a few seconds.
Then you use the same swab up one nostril, before you place it into a tube which the staff member takes away to analyse it.
It’s all completely painless.
On the way out you are asked to take part in a short survey before either waiting in your car for the results ,or if you arrive by public transport, in a designated area.
Incredibly the result came back in 30 minutes!
My Covid test came back negative which made me feel relieved because as well as helping the NHS to identify asymptomatic cases in the area, having the test also gave me peace of mind. I would encourage anyone to get tested – it is a simple procedure and doesn’t take long.
I didn’t opt for support, but if I had, dedicated staff from the Fife Council local area team are there to offer advice.
If you test positive you are instructed to go straight home, and, if you came by public transport, staff can arrange for a ‘Covid taxi’ to take you home.
Staff can also arrange for food packages to be sent to you if you need to self-isolate immediately and they can offer support over the phone.
From Monday (March 8) the Glebe Centre will be open: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. No appointments necessary.