ALL Warrington residents are being urged to get symptom-free COVID-19 testing by the council’s public health chief.
Every resident will now have a number of options when choosing to get a lateral flow test, to ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus as more restrictions are eased.This comes as Warrington’s testing programme has been expanded in recent weeks to include two new symptom-free testing sites in Lymm and Burtonwood and one symptomatic (PCR) testing site in Birchwood.
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From Friday 9 April, residents will be able to get twice-weekly lateral flow tests at the following places:·Workplace testing: This includes testing sites at participating workplaces where you can take a supervised test, and workplace collect, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. You should speak to your employer to see if they are setting up workplace testing, or alternatively register your business for testing online.·Education: School pupils are already being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays. School pupils at high school, college and university can also order the tests online for themselves and their household or support bubble. Staff at nursery, school, college and university can get a regular test as part of the workplace testing scheme.·LFD Direct: For people who can’t access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to your home.·Pharmacy collect: When launched, you will be able to go to a participating pharmacy and pick up a free box of tests to use at home. NHS England’s site finder allows you to search pharmacies near you that offer pharmacy collect. Over the coming weeks more and more pharmacies will be signing up.· Community testing: Take a supervised symptom-free test at any of our five testing sites. We are also offering a community collect option at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and Grappenhall Parish Centre, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home.
The council website, warrington.gov.uk/testandtrace, will be updated in advance of 9 April and will signpost residents to the different test booking routes.Anyone who receives a positive lateral flow test result, regardless of whether you have been tested at home or at a symptom-free testing site, will have to self-isolate and get a confirmatory NHS (PCR) test.Getting into the habit of twice-weekly testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to keep each other safe as we ease our way out of lockdown. What’s most important is that as many people as possible take up the offer of twice-weekly rapid testing, whichever route they use.Warrington’s Director of Public Health Thara Raj is encouraging those who have not done a lateral flow test before to attend one of our symptom-free sites in the first instance, so they can receive a test and understand what is involved before picking up any further test kits to do at home.Speaking further about the expansion of testing for all residents, Thara said: “As we all venture out more it’s important to remember that COVID-19 can still spread when you are outdoors, so you need to take the same precautions as ever. This is the case if you leave your home every day, if you work from home and don’t leave your home much, or if you see the same close contacts regularly.“Do your bit to protect vulnerable colleagues, friends and loved ones by getting regular lateral flow tests to reduce transmission and break any chains of infection. It’s better to be cautious and get a regular symptom-free test, as getting a test won’t hurt anyone, but unknowingly spreading coronavirus might.”For more information on coronavirus in Warrington, visit: warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus