More rapid result coronavirus testing is being offered to residents in Stoke-on-Trent. The faster testing, using the new lateral flow technology, will take place in Abbey Hulton this Friday.
The tests give results within one hour, helping people who are negative to get back to their daily lives quicker. It’s part of a further one-day community trail that will inform future testing in the city.
The news comes following updates that Stoke-on-Trent now has a seven-day infection rate of 557.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 13 November, one of the highest rates in the country, and this rate is likely to rise further before falling.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: “Testing is one of our greatest defences against coronavirus and we are increasing options for residents to access faster testing so that more people can be tested.
“We know that we have the highest testing rates for coronavirus in the region, and this is thanks to people taking the responsible steps of booking a test and keeping their appointment. Our testing rates are currently 519 per 100,000 people, against a West Midlands average of around 400. But our positivity rate is at 14 per cent, and it should be around two per cent. This means that there are still not enough people being tested.
“We have added huge capacity to testing arrangements – there is now a regional testing centre, at Stoke City FC South Car Park; two local testing centres at Synectics Solutions in Burslem and at Fenton Manor Sports Complex car park; and we again have community testing this week at the Wallace Sports and Education Centre in Abby Hulton until Thursday and at Dimensions Leisure Centre in Tunstall on Friday and Saturday. We are able to target community testing where there are high rates of infection, bringing tests to local people, and we will again be trialling rapid result lateral flow tests, in Abbey Hulton on Friday.
“By offering community testing and rapid results testing we are able to get ahead of the curve of the virus, helping people to isolate more quickly if they have it, and stopping the spread.”
People who book a coronavirus test at the Wallace Sports and Education Centre will be tested using the new technology which gives results in just over 20 minutes, without the need to go to a lab to be processed.
The trial will see 130 tests made available at the leisure centre between 9:30am and 2pm 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. Residents can book an appointment by visiting
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “If you have any suspicion of having the coronavirus, we urge you to get a test. There is plenty of capacity.
“Some people who test positive tell us they waited to get tested as they didn’t have 'classic' Covid symptoms but did feel quite unwell. We need these people to get tested earlier. If residents are showing even the slightest symptoms, however mild, they should book a test.
“Using this new lateral flow 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 again with members of the public will allow us to do more to stop the disturbing spread of the coronavirus in the city and allow residents to get tested quickly. Community testing is also available and those who don’t have one of the three main symptoms but are feeling unwell can book a test at these sites.”
For the latest information on council services and support 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.