MK’s COVID-19 testing delays are not within council control

Tuesday 22 September 2020

 

Milton Keynes Council is confirming to local people that the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for the provision of COVID-19 tests in Milton Keynes and that the council cannot influence the national lack of testing capacity.

Concerned MK residents have begun contacting the council to ask for help as they struggle to book a test.

Milton Keynes is home to a large drive through testing centre, run by the Department of Health and Social Care, which serves local people.

MK Council’s COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan explains that if suspected COVID-19 cases were on the rise within the borough, MK Council may seek to bolster the regional facility by setting up additional walk-in or drive-in centres in community hotspots.

However as there’s currently a lack of lab facilities to run the tests themselves, setting up additional testing centres would not create any additional capacity locally and wouldn’t influence how quickly MK residents could be tested.

MK Council continues to urge people to get a test only if they have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, please don’t book a test.  Doing so only makes it harder for people with symptoms to get the test they need.

Anyone with symptoms must isolate for 10 days from when symptoms began. Other members of the household (or bubble) should isolate for 14 days.

Milton Keynes Council is currently giving advice alongside Public Health England to 13 schools and educational settings in Milton Keynes where positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed within the school community. All schools are following proper processes and in some cases school ‘bubbles’ are isolating as a precaution.