Access to rapid coronavirus tests that give a result within half an hour are being rolled out next week to key workers who have to go out to work despite the current lockdown.
Testing centres have been opened at Grimsby Town Hall and the Knoll in Cleethorpes, with plans for a further site in Immingham to be opened in the future, subject to demand.
The focus is on those key workers who are not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) but who may be unwittingly carrying and transmitting the virus. Around 1 in 3 COVID cases are thought to be asymptomatic.
The move towards wider rollout out follows trails with some public sector staff, including officers from Humberside Police and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.
Regular rapid testing will identify if someone has coronavirus, triggering isolation requirements as quickly as possible. The tests will enable eligible key workers to continue to provide vital goods and services, whilst protecting others from the virus and wider transmission into the community..
Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Lateral Flow Tests offer a much quicker result time that conventional COVID tests because they do not need to be sent off to a laboratory.
“These tests will help us to identify coronavirus cases in those without symptoms that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Isolation of those cases means we can reduce the spread of COVID, whilst also enabling critical services to continue.
“These tests will be a valuable addition to our fight against coronavirus It is still important that if anyone has any of the 3 principle symptoms of coronavirus, then they should arrange for a regular test via NHS.UK or by calling 119.”
Eligible key workers in North East Lincolnshire will be able to access LFT’s via an online booking system, and will be offered to take two tests per week.
Key workers are defined, under Government lockdown rules, as anyone leaving home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
The Government has also announced a centrally driven rapid testing offer for businesses and organisations with more than 50 employees who cannot work from home. Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.