Warwickshire businesses are being urged to get their staff tested regularly using one of six centres in the county for those without symptoms of COVID-19.
The test centres, in Bedworth, Nuneaton, Leamington, Rugby, Stratford and Water Orton, are being run by Warwickshire County Council in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, District and Borough Councils and community partners.
Each centre is set up to undertake around 2,000 tests per week and uses lateral flow testing. Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology used to test a higher proportion of people without symptoms of Covid-19, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus and break the chains of transmission.
WCC is urging key workers with no symptoms, especially those whose roles require them to work outside their homes, who come into contact with others and who can’t get a test through a different channel, to book a test immediately. These tests are not for people who have been identified as a close contact of a case and asked to self-isolate, in this instance please call 119 or visit nhs.uk/coronavirus if you develop symptoms, you can then book for a drive through or home test kit.
Employment sectors include, but are not limited to:
- Essential shops, supermarkets, financial services
- Food production, processing
- Warehousing, packing, distribution
- Essential public sector services including waste services, security, and blue light services etc
- Construction, utilities, communications
- Agency workers
- Health, social care, education and early years staff
Director of Public Health Warwickshire, Dr Shade Agboola said: “It has never been more important to tackle the transmission of COVID-19 than it is now, with high case numbers and hospitals facing growing pressures. Lateral flow - or rapid result - testing is just one way we can help limit the movement of the virus amongst people with no symptoms, and it is available now - free - in Warwickshire. These tests provide results in around an hour and can be taken weekly at one of six test sites.
“If you employ fewer than 250 people, I encourage you to promote these tests to your staff and support them to get tested weekly. We would advise that your staff book their tests online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidcommunitytesting to ensure they get a place.”
Dr Shade Agboola continued: “It is important to recognise that ‘Hands – Face – Space’ must continue to be a central element in your efforts to promote COVID-security in your work settings.
“It is also important to recognise that a negative test does not mean people can relax their COVID-safety behaviours. We should all behave as though we have the virus and do everything, we can to protect ourselves and others from catching it.”
Tests are available for booking between 8.15am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10.15am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Please do not visit the test centre if you have symptoms of COVID-19, that is a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell or if you have been advised to self-isolate. If you have symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and book a test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119."
To ensure the safety of all those visiting the test centre, we would urge residents to book online at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidcommunitytesting to help to reduce queue’s outside test centres.