Locally led testing for people without coronavirus symptoms is set to be rolled out in the Warwick District this week with the aim of protecting those most at risk.
The test centre will be in addition to the testing facilities already running in Water Orton, Nuneaton and Bedworth. Those using the site will be tested using fast-turnaround lateral flow test kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace in a bid to identify undiagnosed cases and stop people 'unwittingly spreading the virus'.
The centres, which are being delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, Warwickshire County Council, Warwick District Council, and a network including volunteers, aims to help us work towards returning life to as normal as possible.
The tests will be available for those without symptoms of Covid-19 from Tuesday 22 December at the Adult and Community Learning site on Pound Lane in Lillington, Leamington Spa.
The tests are available for booking:
- between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday
- 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. Tests can be booked online.
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 the virus and in doing so, 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 the Government website or by calling 119 as usual.
Talking about the test facility for the Warwick District, Director of Public Health at Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said: “This is the fourth site to open in Warwickshire to the local community and we have plans to roll out additional test centres in Rugby and Stratford early in the new year. To date over 1, 600 tests have been carried out at our test sites and we have received some great feedback.
"The new testing facility for the Warwick District will play a key role in tackling Covid-19. By testing people who don’t have symptoms, we are hoping to identify those who are not aware that they have the virus and may be unwittingly spreading it to other people - including friends, loved ones and work colleagues. By breaking the chain of transmission and picking up those who are 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 the test centre staff. Results are quick and should you test positive, help and advice is available. Only by working together can we make a difference, so please play your part, support your community and go along to your nearest testing facility and get a free test.”
The Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day said:
“We can stop the virus in its tracks by getting tested, even if we don’t have any coronavirus symptoms. Join me to protect our families and loved ones, by booking a quick and easy test at this new local facility. Together we’ll have the peace of mind that we’re not going to unwittingly pass on COVID-19 this Christmas and will keep our most vulnerable safe through the winter months ahead.”
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 holds 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 Warwick District Council are working with us to pilot the latest technology in Leamington and Warwick, 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.”