More than 4,000 take part in rapid Covid testing in Norfolk

Lateral flow testing involves taking a mouth and nasal swab to see whether coronavirus is present in the body

More than 4,000 people in Norfolk have taken part in lateral testing for coronavirus. - Credit: Suffolk County Council

More than 4,000 people have taken part in rapid testing for coronavirus in Norfolk - with public health bosses saying it is helping stem the spread of the virus.

The testing, for people who do not have symptoms has, so far, identified 33 who had Covid-19.

Health bosses say the asymptomatic testing means people who test positive can self-isolate straight away, so they do not pass the virus on to others.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Earlier this month, Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk County Council's director of public health urged people having to go out for work or to visit loved ones in care homes to get twice weekly coronavirus tests.

That plea came as more sites where people could get a lateral test result in about 30 minutes were being rolled out.

Mobile testing sites are running in Norwich, Sprowston, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Watton, Hethersett and Poringland.

The county council says there have been 33 positive tests from 4,117 tests.

A spokesperson said: "That’s why this type of testing is so valuable – we’re finding cases we wouldn’t otherwise have picked up and been able to advise those individuals to self isolate, helping to stop further transmission of the virus."

Children at Woodside Junior School in Hethersett help get the message out. Photo: Archant

Diane Steiner, deputy director of public health in Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

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Diane Steiner, deputy director of public health, said: "We’ve been very pleased with the public’s response to the community symptom-free testing programme so far and would encourage residents to take part as we continue to develop and roll out this programme."

Tests can be booked via: www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus/testing/symptom-free-testing

People who have symptoms of coronavirus should not book tests in that way, but should go through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

More than 200 businesses, covering around 7,000 staff have started doing regular testing, while a further 300 businesses have expressed interest in the scheme.

The council said that was a "tremendous response".

Details of how to get involved are at www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus/testing/workplace-surveillance-testing

Secondary schools are conducting separate testing for staff and students.

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