PEOPLE across the Dudley borough are being urged to only seek a Covid-19 test if experiencing symptoms of the virus due to the high demand for tests.

Councillor Nic Barlow, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for health and adult social care, has stressed the need to preserve test availability for those who need it the most to help ease the pressure amid extensive demand for testing.

He said: "There is now very high demand for coronavirus tests, and it is vital we test people with symptoms to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it.

"If a person has Covid-19 symptoms, they must isolate and seek a test. If a person doesn’t have symptoms, then they do not require a test unless advised by a doctor or public health professional."

He urged people to do the key things that are within their power to help reduce the spread of the virus - wash hands regularly, wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible and try to keep a distance from others from different households.

The Department for Health and Social Care, which manages national testing, has said that people should usually only be tested if they are displaying symptoms of coronavirus which include a high temperature, a new/continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Tests can be booked online at or by calling 119.

Anyone with these symptoms is urged to isolate immediately for 10 days. Anyone who is identified as a contact of a positive case must isolate for 14 days, even if they get a negative test during that period.

People are urged not to turn up at a testing centre without having booked a test, as Dudley Council chiefs say they will not be seen without an appointment.

They added that people should not automatically get tested when they have returned from abroad, are about to travel, are returning to the workplace, when they have been in contact with a confirmed case or when living with someone who has symptoms.

Residents may be advised to isolate if they have been in contact with a confirmed case but they should only get a test if symptomatic.

In Dudley, there have been 90 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last seven days - according to latest data from Public Health England; and the seven-day incident rate per 100,000 is 28.0 - the previous week it was 23.0.

Since the pandemic began there have been 1,597 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the borough and 314 deaths linked to coronavirus.