For those without symptoms (asymptomatic), there are four ways to get a test:
- at one of our Asymptomatic test sites
- by collecting a kit from one of the large test sites
- by requesting a test kit to be sent to your home
- by collecting test kits from a local pharmacy
1) Get tested at an Asymptomatic Test Site
The community testing initiative, in partnership with the Scottish Government; NHS Scotland; The Army and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, aims to drive down local COVID-19 rates and transmission by identifying positive cases more quickly, as people can spread the virus to others before symptoms appear.
Where is the testing centre located?
No asymptomatic testing centre currently available.
Who should visit the testing centre?
Any resident who lives in East Ayrshire who does NOT have any of the three COVID symptoms below is encouraged to get tested:
- a new continuous cough
- loss or change in sense of taste or smell
Can local businesses use the testing centre?
Yes - the testing centre is very useful for local businesses. Staff from S&C Engineering in Kilmarnock have been using COVID-19 community testing regularly after one of their employees tested positive and had to self-isolate. Using the testing centre has given the business greater reassurance knowing that staff are regularly being tested before coming to work.
What does the testing process involve?
You'll be tested using lateral flow devices (LFD), which can give you a result in around 45 minutes. You do not need to wait at the testing centre for the result; this will be sent to you by text message or you'll receive a call on your landline if you don't have a mobile phone. If you don't have either, alternative arrangements will be made at the testing centre.
Any positive cases will then be confirmed by PCR test. Those who receive a positive LFD or PCR test result will be asked to self-isolate.
Try to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes before doing the test to reduce the risk of spoiling the test.
2) Collect a kit from one of the large test sites
You can collect a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test kit from one of the large test sites at the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock or Prestwick Airport between 3.30pm and 8pm every day. You do not need to book an appointment.
3) Request a test kit to be sent to your home
You can arrange to have an LFD test kit delivered free to your home. Your order will contain one pack with seven LFD tests inside, and it will be delivered to your home in one to two days.
You can order a test online or by calling 119.
4) Collect test kits from a local pharmacy
You can collect free rapid COVID-19 testing kits from many local pharmacies if you don’t have any symptoms. Find your nearest collection point.
Watch a video with some local faces talking about the importance of testing regularly and hear their handy hints for taking the test.
What support is available if I test positive?
Dedicated support is available to East Ayrshire residents who need to self-isolate, including access to food and financial support. Find out more about the support available online or call 01563 554400.
Further advice and information on what support is available for people who need to self-isolate is available from nhsinform.scot.
What should I do if I have got COVID-19 symptoms?
The testing options mentioned above are only for people without symptoms. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a test online or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Frequently asked questions
Anyone who does not have the following common symptoms of COVID-19 can visit an ATS:
- a new continuous cough
- fever/temp 37.8C or higher
- loss/change in sense of smell/taste
If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, you should follow the usual process and book a test online on the NHS Inform website or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Bookings are not required – you can just walk in to the test site.
Lateral flow antigen tests (LFT) are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus, and break the chains of transmission.
A Lateral Flow Device (LFD) detects the presence or absence of coronavirus from a swab or saliva sample. The sample is mixed with a buffer solution, which releases and breaks up virus fragments. Some of the solution is then dropped on to the lateral flow device. The sample runs along the surface of the device’s absorbent strip, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result.
Greater testing can reduce the prevalence of the disease and break chains of COVID-19 transmission. By getting tested, you can help protect families and friends, the NHS, your local community, and aid the reopening of schools and services.
If you are asked to self-isolate and you are concerned about the financial impact:
- your employer should be able to assist you
- you may be eligible/entitled to statutory sick pay
- you may be eligible for the Self-Isolation Support Grant
For more information on these and other types of available support, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 or Textphone 0800 111 4114.
You can also visit our COVID-19 support page.
No. Tests are completely voluntary and are there for anyone who may want one. We are hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of getting involved in local testing efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in their communities.
Locally-led community testing will continue to be supported through the national mobile testing units which are delivered by the Scottish Ambulance Service. Alternatively, you can request a home testing kit on the Scottish Government's website.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the local contact tracing team so that their close contacts can be identified. These close contacts will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you’ll be sent a unique code to your mobile to enter into the app. The data held in the app will then be sent to a server so close contacts also using the app can be notified and advised to self-isolate.
Lateral flow tests (LFT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have different characteristics and different uses.
PCR tests have higher specificity and sensitivity but require a laboratory to process results and therefore results return slower. PCR tests are therefore well suited to specific use cases, such as those with COVID-19 symptoms.
While lateral flow tests have lower sensitivity than PCR, they deliver results far faster and do not require a lab. As such, they allow us to test far larger numbers of asymptomatic people and get them their test result faster than with PCR technology. This will enable us to identify a large percentage of people who are infected and infectious, but have no symptoms and are unaware that they have the virus.
Lateral flow tests (LFT) are validated technology, they are safe, inexpensive and the results are trusted. Extensive clinical evaluation from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show LFTs are specific and sensitive enough to be deployed for mass testing, including for asymptomatic people.
If you get a positive result, it’s likely that you were infectious at the time the test was taken. The antigen test cannot detect very low levels of coronavirus in a sample, so if you have only recently been infected, are in the incubation period, or if you have mostly recovered, the test may not give a positive result.
It takes less than 15 minutes to take the test.
The test produces a result within an hour.
If you test positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Information on the wraparound support available can be found at NHS Inform. For more information on these and other types of available support, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 or Textphone on 0800 111 4114. You can also visit our COVID-19 support page.
You should continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus. You can help protect yourself, others and the NHS by following the Scottish Government guidelines: What we need to do to keep safe.
Free testing continues to be available to everyone in Scotland. If you have symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough or loss of/change in taste or smell), please book a test online on the NHS Inform website or by calling 0800 028 2816.