Why is there a PCR test shortage? How to get tested in Leeds before New Year's Eve
PCR tests have become temporarily unavailable this morning across England.
People are currently unable to book or order a PCR test through the GOV.UK website after a shortage in tests due to the Omicron variant spreading rapidly.
This comes just a week after a dramatic shortage of lateral flow tests across the UK as suppliers struggled to meet demands, with many stockpiling lateral flow tests.
The latest shortage in PCR tests is set to be resolved quickly as normal service resumes over the next few days - with most of the shortages being caused by supply chain issues over the Christmas period.
It has also been said that lab staffing issues as a result of coronavirus isolations has been affecting the processing of tests and causing a delay.
It is advised that those in need of a PCR test keep checking the GOV.UK website.
Below is how long results from a PCR test currently take, and where you can get one in Leeds when the supply chain is restored.
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 three days in some instances.
Recently most tests are taking between two and three days to come back due to the increase in testing after the spread of Omicron.
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.
Below is a list of several ways to get a PCR test 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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