Rapid tests for residents not experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 are coming to Rugby from tomorrow, January 5.
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'.
Cllr Seb Lowe, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “With one in three infections in people without symptoms, there could be many more residents who are currently infected and don’t know it.
“These rapid tests will be another tool that will help us to identify cases of Covid-19 and prevent onward transmission.
"The earlier we can identify these cases the fewer people will be infected.
“I would ask all residents in areas with particularly high rates of infections, such as Benn ward, Coton and Boughton, Admirals and Cawston and New Bilton, to book one of these rapid tests as soon as they are able.
"A negative test can reassure residents that they are not infectious at the time they take the test, while a positive test will mean that they can take steps to protect their friends and family.
“This programme is one that we have been working on with partners now for some time, and I look forward to it opening and reaching its potential to tackle the spread of the virus within our borough.”
The lateral flow antigen tests are based on a new technology which allows health services to screen a high number of people for the virus in a short amount of time.
They usually yield results within an hour.
The tests will be sited at the Indian Centre on Edward Street, and tests can be booked from 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Booking is online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/rugby-covid-community-testing-32080676711 and residents are encouraged to book a test each week.
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 by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 as usual.
Talking about the test centre for Rugby, Director of Public Health at Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said:
“This is the fifth test centre to open in Warwickshire to the local community and an additional test centre will open in Stratford next week.
"The new testing facility for Rugby 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 at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus/coronavirus-services-support/1. We would advise that residents take up the opportunity to get tested weekly to ensure that they help to reduce the spread of the virus in their community.
“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.”
For Covid advice and support, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk