Two rapid Covid testing sites for key workers open with more to follow

Student carrying out coronavirus test.

Rapid lateral flow testing for key workers is being rolled out in Norfolk. - Credit: PA

Key workers in two Norfolk towns are now being given rapid coronavirus tests to spot people who have Covid-19, but do not have symptoms.

And Norfolk County Council bosses say the the lateral flow testing, currently being done in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth, will be rolled out to other parts of the county within the next two months.

About 250 people were tested at the King's Lynn site last week, while the Yarmouth site launched on Wednesday, January 27.

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

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, said: "Our ambition is to have a number of these sites, somewhere between five and eight, so that there is one local to you in each area.

"We will bringing those on-stream in the coming weeks."

The tests can give a result within 30 minutes, although they are not as reliable as laboratory-analysed PCR tests.

The roll-out follows a successful trial in King's Lynn in the run-up to Christmas.

The council says it will be contacting organisations and employers who would be eligible to get workers tested to explain how to get involved.

A council spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we are working with a number of partners to ensure that rapid testing for people without Covid-19 symptoms will soon be available in various settings across the county.

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"Many people who have coronavirus do not display symptoms and the rapid symptom-free testing will help to find some of those individuals so they can isolate and not inadvertently spread the virus.

"While these tests don’t pick up on all cases, they can help us identify more cases that wouldn’t otherwise have been found."

The council said organisations and employers who have staff and workers who would be eligible for testing will be contacted and given details on how to get involved.

The council stressed the rapid tests are separate from national coronavirus testing for those with symptoms and that anyone with symptoms should still book a free NHS test using the GOV.UK website or by calling 119.

They should immediately self-isolate and not seek to use the symptom-free testing programmes.

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