Around one in three people have Covid-19 without displaying any symptoms. These figures have promoted the need to boost community testing, in a bid to curb the spread.
All members of the public can now get a rapid-turnaround lateral flow test from the West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough The tests will be supplied by the NHS Test and Trace and provide results within the hour. Home Testing Kits will also be available to be collected.
The centre will be open from 9.30am to 5pm each weekday.
West Lindsey District Council is working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, Everyone Active (West Lindsey Leisure Centre provider) and Market Rasen Town Council to increase access to testing.
This will help to identify those who unknowingly have the virus and enable those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate, which can help drive down the R rate locally and save lives.
Ian Knowles, chief executive at West Lindsey District Council urged residents to make testing part of their new routine.
He said: “I am delighted that we are able to support the expansion of local testing here in West Lindsey.
“The lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in identifying cases quickly – and anything we as a local authority can do to help stop the spread has to be welcomed.
“I would urge individuals to make use of the tests to ensure we are able to keep the most vulnerable people in our community safe."
Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people so they can isolate and stop the spread of the virus.
Kerry O’ Neill, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are really pleased the centres can support in the fight against the coronavirus. They play a key role in the local community and we’re extremely happy to be doing our part.
"We hope it will go a long way to containing the spread.”
Natalie Liddle, acting head of service – Health Protection, said: "Community testing for key workers who don't know they are carrying the virus has already proved its worth across sites in Lincolnshire.
“If we want to keep infection rates down and stop people unknowingly spreading the virus among family and friends then rapid testing will play a major part. With the easing of restrictions and the gradual return to normal life it's more vital than ever that we don't become complacent.
“I'd urge local residents in West Lindsey to use the testing sites provided in Gainsborough and Market Rasen, the more we know about infection rates the better.
"Remember, this is for those people who aren't showing symptoms of the virus - if you have any symptoms please self-isolate and book a test through the national system as soon as possible.”
Swabbing and processing of the tests will be conducted at the site by trained personnel. Anyone testing positive will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts and they will be asked to stay at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus and advise to book a test if they develop symptoms.