Locally led testing for people without coronavirus symptoms is set to be rolled out across Warwickshire.
Locally led testing for people without coronavirus symptoms is set to be rolled out across Warwickshire in the next few weeks with the aim of protecting those most at risk, using rapid testing to speed up the process.
The first test centre in the county will be opening on Tuesday 8 December at Water Orton Community Hall. Fast-turnaround lateral flow test kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace will be used for testing in a bid to identify undiagnosed cases and stop people 'unwittingly spreading the virus'.
The first test centre, which is being delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, and a network including volunteers, aims to help us work towards returning life to as normal as possible.
People of all ages without symptoms of Covid-19 are invited to book a test by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/water-orton-covid-community-testing-31912199569 The tests are available for booking between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The service uses the fast turnaround lateral flow test kits, which can deliver results in around an hour.
Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of people without symptoms, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus and break the chains of transmission.
Please note, only people without Covid-19 symptoms should book a test. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell – must self-isolate and book a test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 as usual.
Talking about the new test facility, Director of Public Health at Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said: “We are really pleased to have the new testing facilities available in Warwickshire for asymptomatic testing. Although figures are reducing across the county, they are still far higher than we would like them to be. By testing people who don’t have symptoms, we are hoping to catch those who are not aware that they have the virus to ensure that they don’t unwittingly spread it to other people - including friends, loved ones and work colleagues
“By breaking the chain of transmission and picking up those who may be asymptomatic, we hope that we will reduce the spread of the virus and protect those who are most at risk.
“The tests are really simple to do using a swab from your nose and mouth, and you will be supported throughout the process by those working at the test centre. Results are quick and should you test positive, help and advice is available at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus/coronavirus-services-support/1. Only by working together can we make a difference, so please play your part, support your community and come along and get a free test.”
David Wright Leader North Warwickshire Borough Council added
“The news that North Warwickshire will host the first community testing site in Warwickshire is much welcomed and is part of our continuing work with the government to get us out of Tier 3. We have seen a significant fall in rates of infection in North Warwickshire this past week, despite this we currently sit in Tier 3 with the highest-level restrictions.
“We are very hopeful that community testing will help to identify people who are carrying the virus, but aren’t displaying any symptoms, they will then be able to isolate and stop the spread and subsequently help towards easing our restrictions. A lot of hard work has gone into setting up this testing site and I am very grateful for all involved in making this happen, another fantastic example of partnership working throughout these unprecedented times.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.
“Innovations such as lateral flow testing hold the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.
“I’m delighted that Warwickshire County Council along with colleagues at North Warwickshire Borough Council are working with us to pilot the latest technology in Water Orton, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, both in helping target the virus locally, and helping find ways to roll this technology out further soon.”
Additional tests sites are also being planned for Nuneaton, Bedworth, Warwick District, Rugby and Stratford. For Covid support and advice, visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk