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Covid-19 testing swab

Lateral flow tests rolled out in Knowsley

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley has now received 10,000 lateral flow tests from the Government which now enables priority groups to be tested. Lateral flow tests provide rapid results for residents without symptoms (sometimes known as asymptomatic).

Further allocations of the test will be received on a weekly basis, equivalent to 10% of our population.

Why test people with no symptoms?

Proactively testing people who don’t have any symptoms will help identify those who unknowingly have the virus and enable them to self-isolate, reducing the further spread of the virus in our communities.

This is crucial to break the chains of transmission of the virus and to support critical industries, key workers and the local economy.

With lower rates of transmission, those at highest risk from the virus will be more protected.

Who should get tested?

A number of priority groups have been identified that will have the biggest impact in terms of containing the virus. These include frontline workers, such as social workers, employers in Knowsley with staff that cannot work from home and care settings.

Businesses in particular are being invited to take part in the pilot of testing in the workplace. Staff who do not have any symptoms could be unknowingly spreading the virus to their colleagues. In turn this could lead to higher levels of people needing to self-isolate or be absent due to COVID symptoms. It’s good business practice to ensure people who have COVID-19 are identified which could ultimately prevent outbreaks in the workplace.

Matalan has recently signed up to take part in the pilot and other businesses, big and small, are also encouraged to take part. To register your interest, book your place at an online ’roundtable’ event which takes place on Monday, 21 December from 10am until 11am.

How easy is it to take a test? How quickly will I get the results?

The test takes a few minutes to complete, they are self-administered and results should be returned in around 30 minutes.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We have seen the positive impact that asymptomatic testing has had in Liverpool with infection rates continuing to fall. It’s really important that people who unknowingly have the virus are identified so that they can then self-isolate and ensure other people around them don’t catch it. The sooner we can contain this virus, the sooner we can progress into Tier 1 and get back to some sort of normality.”

Matalan’s Operations Director, Mike Jeans, added: “Here at Matalan we want to do everything we can to ensure colleagues are safe while at work, so it is great that now we have partnered with Knowsley Council for this trial to provide the facilities and resources to give colleagues at our Knowsley  DC and Head Office the opportunity to get tested for Covid-19. For us, our colleagues are Matalan’s greatest asset and we simply will not compromise on safety. I am pleased we can play our part in helping contain the spread of this virus, not just amongst our own workforce, but also our wider community here in Knowsley and Liverpool.”

Get tested – regularly

Regular testing for people who are not displaying symptoms is essential as the test is only accurate at a certain point in time. Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, it’s essential that everyone plays their part and continues to follow the rules, ensure safety measures remain in place and embed simple steps into their everyday lives. This includes maintaining social distancing at all times (that’s keeping a 2m distance between you and others) and limiting your social interactions, wearing a face covering where advised.