Posted on Tuesday 10th November 2020
Staffordshire is to increase testing of residents in a bid to identify more cases, reduce the spread of infection and protect lives and livelihoods.
The county is one of a number of local authorities to sign up for the roll out of the rapid turnaround lateral flow tests – which can give results in under and hour, without the need for laboratory processing
The Government says councils could receive up to 10,000 tests per week to allow them to test high risk groups in their communities, with plans for Staffordshire still to be finalised.
Dr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said:
“The Government is looking to expanding testing and in Staffordshire we are committed to taking every opportunity to stop the spread of infection.
“By widening our offer of testing, we can identify more people who have the virus and need to self-isolate, which in turn stops the spread of infection and reduces the number of cases.”
Currently anyone who has one of the main symptoms of a high temperature, new cough or loss of taste or smell must self-isolate immediately and book a test.
However, with many people displaying other symptoms, residents in Staffordshire are now also being asked to consider getting tested as a precaution if they have other symptoms such as:
- Aches and pains
- Feeling very tired for no good reason
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Sometimes ‘tummy ache’ in children
People with any of these symptoms can carry on going to school or work if they are well enough to do so and only need to self-isolate if the test comes back positive.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care, said:
“We are learning that people can show a variety of symptoms, so we think it make sense for anyone who has these other symptoms to think about if they want to get tested as a precaution.
“This is only advisory and people can continue to go to work or school if they feel well enough while they wait for the result.”
There are a number of testing sites across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent which can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus People can use the option of “my council has asked me to book a test” if they have the other symptoms.
The testing sites are currently showing good availability.