Community asymptomatic COVID–19 testing rolled-out

An expansion of asymptomatic testing is being introduced to help to identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure those infected isolate.

The testing programme will be for people showing no symptoms in the hope to reduce the spread of the virus, and is aimed at workers unable to work from home. 

Around 1 in 3 people show no symptoms of the virus, and it’s hoped community testing will help catch cases and stop outbreaks before they happen. 

131 local authorities have signed up for community testing with 107 having started rolling out their testing programme. 

Workforce testing will also receive more support from the government, with 15 large employers already taking part in the testing programme, across 64 sites.

27,000 tests have been taken so far as part of the pilot and 14,800 positive COVID 19 tests have been found due to the asymptomatic testing programme. 

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said “Local knowledge and expertise has proved vital in combating COVID-19 and councils want to work with the government to develop testing strategies which contain and reduce the virus in every area of the country, and for every section of our diverse communities.”

Testing in line with promising vaccination statistics has raised hopes that the “stay at home” order will be lifted soon. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has reiterated that hospitals are going through the worst part of the pandemic, and that any idea of restrictions will be lifted remain “a long, long way away.”