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Rapid result coronavirus testing increases, as city care homes are due to receive testing kits over next four weeks

Published: Friday, 4th December 2020

Increased 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 next week Monday to Friday.

People who book a coronavirus test at Dimensions Leisure Centre in Tunstall and Northwood Stadium in Northwood 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.

Northwood Stadium will become the latest venue in the city to host community testing as the city council steps up it’s targeting of high transmission communities. Testing times will be increased by a further hour each day, 198 tests will be made available at Dimensions Leisure Centre and 264 at Northwood Stadium each day.

Although cases are still widespread across the city, places where there are higher levels of community transmission include Hanley, Stoke and Tunstall. Residents in these areas should consider booking a test.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: “Testing is vital in our defence against coronavirus. Bringing tests to local people is helping people to isolate more quickly if they have it, and stopping the spread.

“By offering rapid result tests in communities where we know cases are higher, we are giving residents as much opportunity as possible to be tested. Please book a test to protect not only yourself, but your family and friends.”
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “Last week we tested 619 residents using lateral flow tests and saw six positive cases. This week so far we have tested 572 residents and have seen 24 positive cases. Despite the great news about the vaccine this week, testing is still vitally important.

“Fourteen schools have now been trained to do their own lateral flow testing and we are working with some of the larger employers in the city to train their staff also. Targeting key sectors with lateral flow testing is a key priority for us.

“We are urging residents to get a test even if they are only showing the mildest of symptoms, especially in those areas with higher levels of community transmission. Stoke-on-Trent now has a seven-day infection rate of 344.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 30 November. This is lower than it has been, however it is still much too high – we need to be aiming at sub 200. Although the infection rate is beginning to come down, it is not happening quickly enough.”

Meanwhile care homes in the city will receive lateral flow testing kits over the next four weeks, following a government announcement that the testing will become available.

Following the government announcement that lateral flow testing kits will be issued to care homes so loved ones can see relatives over the festive period, residents are being reminded that although this is welcomed news, testing has not yet started.

Councillor Brown said: “The national programme to issue lateral flow testing kits to care homes is underway and our homes in Stoke on Trent are due to receive kits over the next four weeks. The intention is that rapid regular testing will be offered to two visitors per resident, which, when combined with other infection control measures, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and good hygiene will support meaningful visits.

“While we welcome this news, we need people to be patient with our homes as they receive their kits over the coming weeks. Care homes will have a lot to work through, including training their staff to support the testing, putting in place booking and logging processes and then rolling it out to their residents – this may take a little time.

“Our homes are keen to remind families and friends that the safety of their residents remains their priority and a negative test does not mean there is no longer a risk of transmitting the virus – people visiting their loved ones have a really important role in helping care homes to keep residents safe. Care homes will still be taking a balanced approach to receiving visitors in a safe way, following robust infection prevention measures, and taking into account their specific circumstances and things like the layout of their home and the individual needs of their residents and staff.

“When the testing is underway, homes will let families know by letter or email and also remind them that visitors are still required to adhere to the hands, face, space measures to keep their loved ones safe. In the unfortunate event that a home should experience an outbreak, indoor visits will be restricted to end of life only, as is the case currently.

“We are immensely grateful to our care homes who continue to work incredibly hard to protect some of our most vulnerable residents through very difficult times.”

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.

-Ends-

 

Notes to Editor

Lateral flow testing next week for residents in Stoke-on-Trent is as follows:

  • Monday 7 December- Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9:30am to 3pm.
  • Tuesday 8 December- Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9:30am to 3pm.
  • Wednesday 9 December - Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9:30am to 3pm.
  • Thursday 10 December – Northwood Stadium, 9:30am to 3pm.
  • Friday 11 December – Northwood Stadium, 9:30am to 3pm.

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 www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test