Posted on Monday 28th March 2022
Extra care to limit the spread of infection is advised for Staffordshire people when free Covid-19 testing ends this week.
Earlier this year, the government announced that universal free PCR and rapid Covid testing would end on March 31, 2022 as part of its ‘Living with Covid-19’ strategy. Following this, the general public will no longer be able to order tests for free but will still have the option to purchase them.
Precautions to limit the spread of infection could include staying at home and reducing contact with people if symptomatic, wearing face coverings when coming into contact with others or in crowded places, keeping a safe distance from others and meeting friends and family outdoors.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care, Dr Johnny McMahon, urged people to take as many preventative measures as possible and protect themselves by getting vaccinated:
“Come 1 April, free mass testing will no longer be an option so we will have to make careful and considerate decisions to help limit the spread of infection among our communities. The more precautions you take the less your risk of spreading the virus to others.
“The best way to avoid spreading Covid-19 will be to stay away from other people if you think for any reason you might have the virus, such as having symptoms or being in recent close contact with somebody who is infectious. Choosing to wear a face covering and meeting people outdoors at a safe distance could also help minimise your risk of passing the virus on.
“It is still vital that people get vaccinated if they’re eligible. It’s not too late to get a first, second or booster dose and it’s incredibly easy to book an appointment or attend a local walk-in clinic. People over the age of 75 and those with underlying health conditions can also get a ‘spring booster’ if they had their first booster around six months ago.”
Staffordshire’s latest seven day case rate has risen to 779.7 per 100,000 population.
Free PCR and rapid tests are still available until Friday 1 April at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Vaccinations, including the Spring booster, can be booked online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirusvaccine or by calling 119.