Residents in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire will be able to benefit from the new lateral flow coronavirus tests as part of a one-day community trial taking place tomorrow (Friday) in the city.
People who book a coronavirus test at Dimensions Leisure Centre will be tested using the new technology which gives results within the hour, without the need to go to a lab to be processed.
If the pilot is successful, the lateral flow technology will be rolled out more widely to the general public.
The trial will see 125 tests made available at the leisure centre between 10am and 2.30pm with five-minute appointments and people attending will be asked to isolate either in their own cars or in a designated area at a social distance at the site to receive their results. If results are positive then individuals will be asked to return for a further test and receive additional support and advice. Should they be negative, they can continue about their normal day-to-day business. Results will be made available within the hour.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to trial the new tests before other areas of the country. The new tests involve a swab in the mouth and nostrils. Earlier this week, the government announced 600,000 of the tests will be distributed across the UK as part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history.
Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the city with today’s figures showing notification of 302 new cases in one day. This means that the seven-day total is 479.4 cases per 100,000 population.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the city at an alarming rate. Today’s figures are the highest we’ve seen in the city at any point which is hugely concerning. Aside from people following the public health guidance, our next line of defence is testing. The more people we can test, the more we’ll be able to bring this virus under control. By using this new technology, we can speed up how quickly people receive their results and can safely get back to work, school and their daily lives. If the pilot is successful in the community tomorrow, then we can roll out more testing for asymptomatic people in the city.
“Generally, we are not seeing enough people come forward to be tested and there is considerable capacity at venues across the city. I would urge anyone with any symptoms, no matter how mild, to book a test
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health and integration said: “Using this new technology has already seen more key workers in our city able to continue to deliver critical services that residents rely on. Being able to pilot this now with members of the public will allow us to do more to stop the disturbing spread of coronavirus in the city.
“We continue to see more and more people being admitted to hospital as a result of coronavirus and we are doing everything we can to try and combat the spread. I’d appeal to anyone who has symptoms, no matter how mild or who has any suspicion of having coronavirus to come forward to be tested. Let’s work together to do all we can to protect our loved ones from this dreadful disease.”
Anyone who has already booked a test for tomorrow is asked to bring a smartphone with them if they have one and ID that shows they live in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. They are also required to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing at all times.
Residents can book a community test for tomorrow at www.stoke.gov.uk.
Community testing is also taking place at Dimensions Leisure Centre, Tunstall, ST6 4ET:
- Friday 13 November: 10:00am-2:30pm – Lateral Flow testing pilot
- Saturday 14 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
- Friday 20 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
- Saturday 21 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
Community testing is at Wallace Sports and Education Centre, Abbey Hulton, ST2 8DU:
- Monday 16 November: 10:30am-2:30pm
- Tuesday 17 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
- Wednesday 18 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
- Thursday 19 November: 10:30am-12:30pm
For more information during the coronavirus, and frequently asked questions, please visit www.stoke.gov.uk/coronavirus. For latest health advice on the coronavirus, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, and for further information on the virus visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated. If residents have symptoms, please get tested. All residents must continue to follow the guidance of wash hands, cover face and make space.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.