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Testing is key to the roadmap out of lockdown!

Published on Tuesday, 23rd March 2021

Residents across Warwickshire are being urged to get a covid test twice a week, following a slight increase in cases in key areas across the county.

The message comes from the Director of Public Health for Warwickshire, Dr Shade Agboola, who has stressed the need for residents to continue to have regular tests if the national roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions is to be achieved.

Talking about testing, Director of Public Health for Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said:

“The last year has been incredibly tough for our communities and the roadmap of out lockdown has given us all some hope that we can work towards a more normal way of living. However, I need to be clear that we will not see the next steps that we all want to see if we don’t stop the spread of the virus and the only way that we are going to achieve this is if we get tested regularly. It really is that simple but that critical.

“Testing is available in a number of settings across Warwickshire including schools, businesses and care homes, but we still need anyone who is unable to access testing through their workplace to take advantage of the free testing service for those with and without symptoms of Covid-19.

“The significance that the role of regular testing plays in the easing out of lockdown cannot be underestimated at this point. With the Easter holidays just around the corner, we know that people will be mixing, so it’s essential that people get tested before meeting up with family and friends. That’s regardless of whether you have had one or both of your vaccinations, whether you are a key worker or have children at school, or if you work from home and only go shopping or meet up with friends in the park, anyone can carry the virus and anyone can catch it. So please play your part and get tested.”

Warwickshire has increased the availability of lateral flow testing in the last few weeks with the introduction of its mobile testing on business sites on Birch Coppice in North Warwickshire and Bermuda Park in Nuneaton. This is in addition to the six community tests sites located around the county. This means that there is plenty of capacity to test those without symptoms of Covid at our community tests sites, all of which are open seven days a week.

Dr Shade Agboola continued:

“As well as testing, it is essential that residents continue to follow the key guidance of washing their hands regularly, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and keeping a social distance from those you do not live with. Good ventilation is also very important, so if you are looking after people in your bubble or you need to invite someone into your home to fix essential items, then as well as hands, face, space, it’s also important to keep your home or workplace well ventilated.”

Since opening the community test centres, Warwickshire County Council has overseen the testing of around 145,000 people living or working in the county. Of those, around 1,200 have been positive. Whilst this may not seem like a large number, we have successfully managed to test, trace and isolate all those they have been in contact with to help reduce the spread of the virus.

To book a test at one of the community test sites for those without symptoms of Coivd-19 please visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidtesting If you are unable to attend a test centre, then you can order a kit for home delivery by visiting https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Home test kits for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff are also available for collection from the community test centres or NHS test sites. To find out more visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff

Residents experiencing one or more of the following symptoms are asked not to attend appointments at our community test sites and should instead book an NHS test by visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or by calling 119:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of taste or smell