The community testing initiative, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, has been launched today (February 23) at Carlton Forum Leisure Centre to help drive down transmission rates by offering rapid tests.
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 break chains of transmission.
With its targeted approach, community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus in the highest risk areas.
Rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests are a new type of technology, which provide results within an hour, and will be used to proactively test asymptomatic individuals. Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test.
Testing will be available for asymptomatic individuals from Tuesday 23 February.
For more information on how to get a test, visit www.gedling.gov.uk/community-testing
All efforts to find people without symptoms work hand in hand with the existing free testing service for those with symptoms. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
There are several PCR test centres across the area, which are open seven days a week.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “We are very happy to be supporting the NHS with the opening of this site in Carlton. We hope that this facility will play an important role in reducing the number of people who are carrying the virus without knowing and spreading it to others.
We will be using the centre ourselves and encouraging staff from our workforce who can’t work from home, such as refuse crews, to get tested.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “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 that Gedling Borough Council is working with us roll out community testing in the borough and I look forward to seeing the results.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “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 Gedling Borough Council in Gedling borough 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.”