Coronavirus test: How do they test for coronavirus?

The number of UK coronavirus cases is on the rise, and the Government has announced its four-stage plan to tackle the spread of the virus. The UK is currently under stage one of the ‘Contain’ phase, meaning authorities are trying to detect and isolate the first cases of COVID-19 in the UK. Here is what will happen if you need to be tested for coronavirus.

How do they test for coronavirus?

As of 9am on March 6, 20,338 have been tested for coronavirus in the UK.

Of these tests, 20,175 were confirmed as negative.

If you think you may have coronavirus, the official advice is that you shouldn’t go to a hospital or a doctors surgery.

Instead, you should call the NHS 111 number, or use the NHS 111 online website.


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If the health authorities believe you should be tested for coronavirus, you may be directed to a testing location by NHS 111.

You may be tested in a hospital, or in a drive-through facility meaning you won’t have to leave your car.

NHS staff may also visit your home to run tests.

At a hospital, it is likely you will be directed to a coronavirus isolation pod, where you will call NHS 111.

A nurse will then take swabs, which will be sent off for testing, and you will be asked to self-isolate either at home or elsewhere.

A number of drive-through facilities for testing have also been set up across the country.

You may be asked to drive to these sites without speaking to anyone else on the route.

Healthcare professionals in protective clothing will then take a throat swab, and you will be asked to self-isolate.


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How many people have coronavirus?

As of 9am on March 6, there have been 163 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

The cases in the UK have been confirmed in the following areas:

  • East of England – 11
  • London – 29
  • Midlands – 12
  • North East and Yorkshire – 13
  • North West – 21
  • South East – 24
  • South West – 22
  • To be determined – 15

Two people diagnosed with COVID-19 have now died in the UK.

A woman in her 70s with underlying health issues died in hospital on Thursday after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Milton Keynes Hospital announced a man in his early 80s, who also had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the virus and died on Thursday.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England are regularly updating the statistics on the current outbreak on the Government website.

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