Rapid tests delivered to communities across Northumberland

A symptom-free Covid testing programme in Northumberland is being further developed to offer a more community-focussed response.

By Paul Larkin
Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:48 pm
Northumberland County Council is starting a roving distribution service for home testing kits.
Northumberland County Council is starting a roving distribution service for home testing kits.

Rapid testing has been available in some of the county’s leisure centres, but due to a reduction in demand at the locations, the service is now taking the form of a roving model for home test kit distribution, making it even easier for people to access tests.

Community pharmacies are providing a home test kit collection service which will serve the majority of towns and parishes. The roving distribution service will provide additional local access to promote the availability of tests.

The Northumberland County Council website will be regularly updated with information on where the community vehicles will be distributing tests each week. This can be viewed at https://nland.uk/testme

By making the rapid tests more easily accessible to everyone, more cases will be detected, breaking chains of transmission and saving lives. The Rapid Test kits are easy to use and can give results in 30 minutes, so those who test positive can self-isolate immediately and avoid passing the virus on to others.

The move comes following the government’s recent announcement in which everyone in England can now access free, regular, rapid testing. Residents without symptoms of Covid-19 can access rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) for themselves and their families to use at home twice a week, in line with government guidance.

The rapid test kits for people without symptoms are also available through:

A government home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home Workplace testing programmes, done on-site or kits provided to do at home Collection of home testing kits at a Northumberland County Council collection point Collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows - click here for more information. Collection from community pharmacies Testing on-site at schools and colleges

Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health for Northumberland, said: “We now know that a third of people with infection don’t have symptoms so people may spread the virus unknowingly.

“The Community Testing programme was set up to help find those cases through regular, voluntary testing in people who do not have symptoms. By carrying out two tests a week at home, we can quickly identify whether we are infectious and prevent further spread of by self-isolating.”