Love Island‘s Dr Alex George has filmed a video teaching fans how to take an at home coronavirus test safely and accurately.
The former reality TV star has been working as an A&E doctor from the frontline for the duration of the pandemic – posting regularly to his Instagram and YouTube with educational tips, updates and information on the virus.
And his latest video shares some very important pointers on how to do the test yourself from home.
Watch Alex for yourself:
“Turns out my gag reflex is pretty strong,” Dr Alex, 30, joked as he shared the vid. “I have put together a step by step video of how to use a Covid-19 home testing kit, showing you the correct technique so that you can get an accurate result.
“There are so many test kits online, many of which are not validated, I have included some advice and guidance around this too”.
According to the government’s track and trace system, anybody who has coronavirus symptoms should be self isolating for two weeks and ordering a test online.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms to look out for are:
- a high temperature – i.e. you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – i.e. you’re coughing a lot for more than an hour, or have had three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – i.e. you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Alex – who has been working with coronavirus patients since the pandemic begun – assured fans he wasn’t taking the test because he had symptoms himself.
He added that in doing the demo video he was hoping to help others who did, advising them to get the test through the official government channels rather than from anywhere else, as alternatives could be unreliable.
So, how do you do an at-home coronavirus test accurately?
“So, a few housekeeping bits first, when the test kit arrives make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds afterwards,” Dr Alex advises.
“When youre going to do the test, choose a surface that’s appropriate but clean that surface properly beforehand and let it dry.”
Identify where to swab and clear the airways
Start by finding a mirror and taking a look inside your mouth to ensure you can identify your tonsils first and foremost, as this is where you’re going to be swabbing.
If you’ve had your tonsils taken out then you will swab where they used to be.
“Once you’ve identified where you’ll be going, you need to blow your nose and cough slightly to clear your airways,” he says.
Open and prepare the swab
Next, open the swab as instructed, taking care not to let anything touch the base of the swab stick, in case you contaminate the result.
“You can see that within this there is a liquid,” Dr Alex adds, holding the swab to the camera. “The liquid needs to remain in that pot, so be very careful you don’t pour that away”.
All you have to do next is take the liquid filled container out of the packaging, take the lid off and put it on the side.
“Try and do your best not to knock it over because that is a bit of a nuisance and then you have to order another test kit… ” he warns. “So, be careful with that one”.
Swab the throat and nose
“Now, this is the tricky bit,” Dr Alex says, instructing viewers to take out their swab, once again insuring it doesn’t touch anything else.
When you are ready to swab, you must open your mouth widely and make sure you’re swabbing the tonsils only.
“Don’t touch your teeth or the gums, because the bacteria and the things that are on there can actually mess up the result a bit,” he adds.
Make sure you swab both tonsils, spending five seconds on each.
Then, take the swab out, and (without letting it touch anything else) put it into each nostril of your nose.
“It needs to go about two to two and a half centimeters into your nose,” he says. “Until the point that you feel a bit of resistance.”
Dr Alex adds that you shouldn’t force it up, and there should be no bleeding, but that it should remain in each nostril for around 10-15 seconds.
Place the swab in the tube
The final step is to place your swab in the pot of liquid – again, without letting it touch anything else!
Simply place the base you’ve been swabbing straight into the liquid and then bend the stick where the black line sits. It should snap as you do so.
Put a lid straight on the pot, wash your hands and place a label on it, sticking the bar code on so it sits vertically.
Package up as instructed and voila, your test is ready to send off!
Make sure you book a free courier to collect the test ASAP, as the results won’t be valid if the specimen is over 72 hours old.