Pilot Covid testing for Telford
Telford & Wrekin Council are piloting the rapid testing programme, using lateral flow tests (LFT), a new testing technology for coronavirus.
The lateral flow tests can give results in around 30 minutes, without the need for laboratory processing.
The tests are similar to home pregnancy tests, take less than 15 minutes to administer, and take about half an hour to produce a result as they don’t need to go a lab to be processed.
The test involves you taking your own throat and nose swab and passing it to a testing operative, who will process the results.
From Wednesday, 9 December, the rapid lateral flow testing is being delivered at The Place, Oakengates – a Council location that has been entirely re-organised to accommodate the testing process and offer self-administered tests.
The newly opened centre is only for people with no COVID-19 symptoms – asymptomatic people, who don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, but might be spreading the virus to others without realising it.
This rapid testing complements the borough’s other local testing sites, which are nationally run.
In the coming weeks, people who don’t have any coronavirus symptoms will be invited to get a rapid lateral flow test.
The aim is to identify people with COVID-19 through targeted community testing, for example through employers, to ensure the virus is not spread at workplaces or from communities, where infection rates are known to be higher.
People who test positive using the rapid lateral flow tests (LFT) will be asked to take a standard coronavirus testing (Polymerase Chain Reaction – PCR) – at one of the seven test centres in the borough, so they can have their results confirmed.
If the PCR test confirms they are positive, they will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days.
Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are committed to take every opportunity we can to help curb the infection spread in our borough.
“We are really proud to be part of this pilot with rapid lateral flow tests in the borough, which will considerably expand our testing offer so more people who have the virus (without any symptoms) can self-isolate and protect others.
“This is particularly important as our borough’s infection rate continues to be above national average.”
“Thank you to all our staff for the hard work in accommodating the new testing process at The Place, Oakengates in such a short period of time.”
Liz Noakes, Telford and Wrekin’s Director of Public Health, said: “We all need to play our part in the fight against COVID-19.
“There are so many of us who could be carrying the virus without even realising it and thus spreading it further – to potentially, higher risk groups who might be severely impacted, such as the vulnerable and the elderly.
“That’s why we are inviting people with no coronavirus symptoms for a test and are prioritising those that are either in contact with many others, due to the work they are performing, or that are potentially part of an outbreak or living in an area with high number of cases.
“The Place pilot testing is not for mass testing, people can’t actively book a test, unless they are specifically asked to do so by our Council or via their employer.
“We hope those receiving test invites in the coming weeks will book a test as quickly as possible – so they can help us break the chain of infections and ultimately, save lives.”
The Council will be looking at improving the accessibility of LFT testing for people unable to travel to The Place, Oakengates.
Anyone in the borough who has one of the main coronavirus symptoms (a temperature, a new, continuous cough, a change or loss in sense of taste or smell) must self-isolate and get a test as quickly as possible.
The Council is continuing to ask residents to get a test also as a precaution, if they have other possible coronavirus symptoms, such as a headache, aches and pains, if they are feeling tired for no good reason, have a sore throat, runny nose, are sneezing or if a child they care for has a tummy ache.
It is very quick and easy to book a test, just go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
For precautionary testing only, please select “My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms”.