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Testing timeline

Work together to work out what happens when you take a COVID-19 test.

You will need

  • Device with access to the internet

Before you begin

  • This is a great activity to run during an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • This activity is all about learning more about coronavirus tests. Check out COVID-19 catchphrase or Figure out the facts for some ideas on how to introduce the topic to your group. It’s a good idea to make sure that everyone has a basic knowledge of coronavirus and why testing could be useful before you get started.
  • Check out ‘Steps to a COVID-19 test’ below, and ‘What is a coronavirus test and what does it show?’ in COVID-19: the facts so you’re informed and ready to answer people’s questions.

Testing timeline

  1. The person leading the activity should explain that coronavirus tests tell people if they have the virus at the time of the test. In this activity, everyone will have the chance to learn what happens during a coronavirus test.
  2. The person leading the activity should give everyone one stage of the test process, from ordering the test to the action you might take after you find out the result.
  3. Everyone should spend a minute or two thinking about how they’ll present their stage. It could be a mime, a short drama, or a drawing. They could also find an item to represent the action, for example, a watch to show the time it takes to receive the test results.
  4. Everyone should take it in turns to present their stage of the test and the rest of the group should try and guess what they’re describing.
  5. Once everyone’s had a chance to share their stage, everyone should work as a group to put the stages into the correct order.


Time to talk

  1. Everyone should look through their test timeline together.
  2. Everyone should talk it through as a group, leaving some time at each step for people to ask any questions they may have.
  1. Everyone who wants to should share how they’re feeling and what they think about the timeline. Are there any parts they’re nervous or worried about?
  2. The group should spend some time thinking of some ideas for how everyone could support each other during the process. Maybe you could prepare some activities that people could do if their test result is positive and they need to self-isolate, or maybe you could create a poster to reassure people about what the test process involves.
  3. At the end of the session, the person leading the activity should remind everyone that taking a test for coronavirus is optional: it’s just one of the things we can do try and help stop the spread of the virus. See if anyone can think of some other actions they could take to help.


This activity was all about the actions people can take to help their communities. Sometimes individual actions can seem small, but when they’re all put together they can make a big difference. What difference could one person make if they take one action, like taking a coronavirus test, or following social distancing guidelines? What about if ten, or a hundred, or a thousand people took the same action? What would the difference be?

Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what we can do to help. What helps people to make decisions? Some people may want to know all the facts, while others may ask the people they trust for advice. We make choices every day, including every time we cross the road or choose what we eat. Some choices are more difficult than others, but knowing the facts and talking to others can help people feel more confident in their choices. 


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.

For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.

As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.