There are three main ways that people can obtain a PCR test if they have symptoms of the virus: via a walk-in centre, a drive through screening or using a home testing kit ordered online.
PCR tests are used when symptoms of Covid-19 are being displayed, with lateral flow tests being used for those without symptoms.
This is because PCR tests require a laboratory to analyse the results so are more accurate than the lateral flow tests, which produce results in under an hour from home.
If unsure about which test to take, a full list of symptoms of Covid-19 can be found on the CDC website to help choose between the PCR test and lateral flow test.
How long does a PCR test take?
PCR tests can vary in how long they take depending on how quickly they are processed by the laboratory.
Tests usually take 24 hours however can take up to 3 days in some instances.
How much is a PCR test?
PCR tests are free when obtained via the NHS website or conducted at one of the listed test centres.
However, as test results cannot be guaranteed in 24 hours some travel organisations are offering PCR tests with a same day turnaround period for a price.
Same day tests can cost up to £140, with next day tests weighing in at between £70 and £90 depending on the provider.
Below is a list of the free forms of PCR testing available in Leeds.
Drive through testing
When attending a site for testing, please stay in your car with your windows closed and follow instructions from site staff.
A mobile unit travels around the region so that you can be tested close to your home - there is a document that gets updated weekly with the locations of the mobile unit.
The unit operates between 9am and 3pm.
If the unit is not near you at the time you need to be tested, you should attend the regional testing centre at Temple Green (Temple Green Park and Ride, Pontefract Lane, Leeds, LS9 0PS) or order a home testing kit.
Walk through testing
If you don’t have a car, there are two walk-through testing sites for people living or working within walking distance.
The sites are at:
The Mandela Community Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY
Cinder Moor, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS6 2UZ
Both sites are open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.
To use the walk-through testing sites, it is best to have a pre-booked appointment which can be done through the NHS website or by ringing 119.
Testing from home
If you cannot get to a testing centre, you can order a home testing kit via the NHS online booking system or by calling 119.
For instructions on how to conduct a PCR test from home, the Department of Health and Social Care have created a video demonstrating the procedure.
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