Gloucestershire County Council is inviting critical workers in Gloucester, who aren’t showing symptoms, to have rapid, regular Covid tests at its new community testing facility, to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Around 860 Gloucester residents have already been tested at the facility in Barton and Tredworth so far, with testing now being offered to people who work in Gloucester too – mainly essential workers and people with caring responsibilities who still have to leave the house regularly during lockdown.
The tests are conducted using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and are specifically designed to identify Covid-19 in people who don’t have any symptoms. The tests are most effective when done twice a week.
LFD tests produce a result usually within one hour of testing and tend to detect individuals when they are at their most infectious, despite not showing any symptoms. Around one in three people who have Covid-19 don’t show symptoms but can still pass the virus onto others.
But Gloucestershire County Council is urging people to continue following the government guidelines on ‘hands, face, space’ as a negative LFD test does not mean an individual definitely doesn’t have the virus, or won’t go on to catch it in the future.
Executive director of adult social care and public health at Gloucestershire County Council, Sarah Scott, said: ‘The single most important action we can all take to save lives and protect the NHS, is to follow the rules and stay at home.
‘If you do have to go out for work or to care for others, naturally, you will be more at risk of catching Covid. LFDs can help detect the virus in people who have none of the main Covid symptoms, so that they can isolate more quickly and prevent the spread of infection.’
The Gloucester LFD community testing facility is located at The Friendship Café @ Chequers on Painswick Road and is open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tests are by appointment only and can be booked online.
Anyone who already has Covid symptoms should self-isolate and book a PCR test at the Hempsted Meadows site in Gloucester, or one of two mobile testing units. LFD tests are not suitable for those with Covid symptoms.
For more information, or to book a test, visit gloucestershire.gov.uk.