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Rapid COVID-19 testing for essential workers in Herefordshire


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Sites set up across the county to give workers better access to COVID-19 rapid testing

Essential workers across Herefordshire, who cannot work from home, are being urged to join an initiative to help drive down the number of COVID-19 cases by doing twice-weekly rapid tests (known as Lateral Flow Tests).

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Four council test centres for people without COVID-19 symptoms are now open for bookings in Herefordshire. They are in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury and Leominster, and critical businesses and essential workers who need to attend a workplace, are invited to use the testing facilities.

In addition, tests for people without symptoms will also start to become available at selected community pharmacies across Herefordshire.

The scheme is part of the Government’s Community Asymptomatic Testing Programme and is being run locally by Herefordshire Council.

Around one in three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and help break the chain of transmission.

With its targeted approach, this programme aims to improve the detection of positive cases so people can isolate and prevent spreading the disease in the workplace and reduce the prevalence of the virus in some of the highest risk areas. It is being used in addition to the established testing venues, which are for anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 in Herefordshire.

Eligible workers can book an appointment at a community asymptomatic test site by following the link on the Council’s website. The rapid tests produce a result in up to 2 hours and people are notified by text message or email. Anyone who does not receive their result within 12 hours, should take another rapid test.

The rapid testing sites in Herefordshire are:

Hereford City - ThePoint4, Venns Ln, Hereford, HR1 1DT

Monday: 8am – 2pm

Tuesday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm

Thursday: 8am – 2pm

Friday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm

Saturday: 9am – 1pm

Ross-on-Wye - Ryefields Centre, Grammar School Close, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7QD

Monday: 8am – 2pm

Thursday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm

Ledbury – The Master’s House, Bye St, Ledbury HR8 1EA

Tuesday: 7:30am – 12noon

Friday:  2pm – 6:30pm

Leominster - Old Priory, The Priory, Leominster, HR6 8DA

Monday 12:30pm – 6:30pm

Wednesday 8am – 2pm

The first community pharmacy currently offering rapid tests is:

Westfields Walk Pharmacy, Leominster, HR6 8HD

Book a community pharmacy test here.

Herefordshire Consultant in Public Health Sarah Smith said:

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It is important we use every means available to help us detect the virus in our communities and make sure people isolate to prevent it spreading. Under the current lockdown arrangements, there are still people who need to attend a workplace and they are the focus of our current community testing programme.

“We know a significant number of those who contract COVID-19 do not display symptoms and are unknowingly passing it to others. These tests are vital to our efforts to suppress the transmission and I urge every essential worker in Herefordshire, who cannot work from home, to use these new testing facilities.”

 

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

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We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.

“Around one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly and break chains of transmission.

“I’m delighted Herefordshire Council is working with us to roll out community testing across the county and I look forward to seeing the results.”

 

Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:

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NHS Test and Trace continues to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19.

“Increased community testing is a vital additional tool at our disposal to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the disease.

“The work of Herefordshire Council will be essential in driving down transmission rates. I urge all those living in areas where community testing is offered to come forward and get tested.”

 

To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space.

Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.

 

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