Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Mass COVID testing programme continues in Liverpool
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Mass COVID testing programme continues in Liverpool

by Gemma Melling

A mass coronavirus testing programme is continuing to take place across Liverpool, with tens of thousands of people having already taken a test.

There are now 37 centres offering tests across the city. You can see how busy each test centre is by visiting https://liverpool.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

These centres should only be attended by people who are not displaying symptoms and will be open from 7am – 7pm every day. People are encouraged to get tested at least twice during the pilot.

The mass testing pilot is expected to run until the end of November. To take a test people can simply walk up to their nearest test centre.

This is the first whole city testing pilot scheme in the country and is being run in conjunction with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England.

Mass testing is continuing in secondary schools across Liverpool, where parents have provided consent.

The pilot relates to areas that come under Liverpool City Council. Neighbouring local authority areas, such as Knowsley, are not included in the pilot.

However, people who live outside Liverpool but work or study in the city will be invited to take part in the programme.

Everyone in the city is being asked to get tested, but there is specific emphasis in asking health and care workers, other emergency services and key workers, school staff and pupils, university staff and students to come forward. A voluntary mass testing programme for all secondary school children in the city is taking place as part of the pilot.

Hundreds of thousands of tests will be made available over the trial period.

Residents and workers will be tested using a combination of existing swab tests, as well as new lateral flow tests, which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab.

The programme has the potential to reduce the transmission rate of coronavirus and could lead to restrictions being reversed more quickly.

The pilot will help to inform a blueprint for how mass testing can be achieved and how fast and reliable COVID-19 testing can be delivered at scale. It is expected that the pilot will last initially for around ten days, with a view to it being extended.

The greater the number of people who participate, the greater the accuracy of the local picture, which will mean better local decision-making to suppress the virus to help communities get back to doing more of the normal things they like to do.

Alongside NHS Test and Trace and commercial partners, the Ministry of Defence will supply additional military personnel to support the COVID-19 mass testing with approximately 2,000 personnel deployed from Thursday 5 November.

Positive results from tests will be collected by NHS Test and Trace and published as part of the daily case numbers, including how many positive cases are detected with this new method of testing. Results will be received from NHS Test and Trace via text and email. Anyone coming for a test should bring a mobile phone with them.

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate, along with members of their household, immediately.

Eligible individuals who test positive – and contacts who are required to self-isolate – will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test ordered through NHS Test and Trace.

Anyone displaying Covid-19 symptoms can still attend any of the existing centres or a mobile testing unit which can be booked via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Liverpool Council has produced a Frequently Asked Questions which will be updated as more information is confirmed.

You can also address any queries about the testing to the new online Chatbot.