Following the announcement that all areas of the Liverpool City Region are set to roll out mass testing (known as SMART testing), Knowsley has confirmed that all its residents will have access to regular testing facilities in a number of locations across the Borough.
From later this week, testing facilities for people who are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be constructed at sites across Knowsley. This includes in Halewood, Huyton and Kirkby with a mobile testing unit visiting other areas across the borough, ensuring residents can get tested at a local facility.
The sites will open 7 days a week and keep a look-out on www.knowsleynews.co.uk for confirmation of when the sites will be officially open for you go along and get tested.
In addition to testing the general population, Knowsley is also making available 10,000 tests for frontline workers and employers in the Borough.
Councillor Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council’s Health & Social Care Cabinet Member, said: “We said that we would only agree to SMART testing in Knowsley if all of our residents were able to access testing easily and regularly. We are pleased that we will be able to offer just that. This programme will only be effective if people commit to regular weekly testing which is why we wanted to make it as easy to do as possible for our residents. So the message from us is clear. Come on Knowsley – let’s get tested!”
This programme is only open to residents NOT displaying symptoms of COVID-19. If you are unable to visit one of the test centres, you can order a home testing kit online or request one by ringing 119.
A testing service for people experiencing symptoms will continue to operate at separate locations. If you have symptoms (high temperature, new/persistent cough, loss of taste or smell), you need to book a test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or ring 119.
SMART testing makes use of Lateral Flow Devices, more commonly known as rapid testing, and the tests should provide a result in around 30 minutes. By testing those who are not displaying symptoms, we can develop a better understanding of the spread of the virus in the community and also identify more people who are carrying the virus so that they can self-isolate.
Taking part in the mass testing pilot is completely voluntary. All tests are self-administered, and the process only takes a few minutes.
It is important to remember that, if you do receive a negative test result, you are only negative at that moment in time. Please continue to follow tier 2 restrictions and COVID-19 guidance.
Councillor Donnelly added: “It is fantastic news for the residents of Knowsley that SMART testing is being rolled out in the Borough.
“It will allow us to identify people who have COVID-19 but do not display symptoms – this means that they can then self-isolate to prevent the further spread of the virus.
“Everyone across Knowsley and the wider City Region has worked very hard to bring the number of cases down during national lockdown. Because of this, we were able to move into Tier 2 of regional restrictions.
“SMART testing enables us to continue this hard work and hopefully move into Tier 1 in the near future. I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in this programme.”