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No sign of ‘mass testing’ kits or details on how to use them

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Plans to roll out what the Government called ‘mass testing’ for people in Gedling borough are still a way away from being off the ground. 

Despite health secretary Matt Hancock saying that tests would arrive to be rolled out across the county last week, Nottingham City Council has confirmed it is still yet to receive any, and it is understood none have been received by Nottinghamshire County Council either.

The council has also not received details from the Government on how it expects them to be used, what the learnings from the Liverpool pilot were, or what outcomes the Government hopes to see from their use.

Since the Government announcement on Tuesday, that an initial 10,000 tests were being sent out to each council, the Government has also said it plans to mass test all students wanting to return home, and roll it out in all care homes by Christmas.

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It was promised 10,000 tests would be sent out for use by residents

The Government also said after the initial 10,000 tests, it would be releasing enough for each council to test 10 percent of its population on a weekly basis. 
It is also not yet known when the councils will begin receiving these tests.

A webinar was held on Friday, October 13, between Matt Hancock and the local councils hoping to take part in the scheme, but one insider said it had left health experts in the city and county ‘none the wiser’ about how to proceed.

A spokesman for Nottingham City Council said “We haven’t received the test kits yet. A webinar did go ahead on Friday but it hasn’t moved things forward – we’re still not in a position to say how and when testing will be rolled out.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has been approached for comment.

The Department for Health and Social Care has also been approached for comment.

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