Key workers can now get rapid Covid-19 tests in Daventry — even if they don't have symptoms
Leisure Centre site aims to sniff out one in three people who have the virus but don't know it
A new community rapid-testing centre has opened in Daventry targeting those who may be carrying the coronavirus but don't know it.
The unit at the town's Lodge Road leisure centre uses lateral flow devices, allowing key workers with no symptoms to get tested regularly, reducing risk of transmitting the virus.
Five similar units, delivering results within 30 minutes, are already up and running across Northamptonshire in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough and Brackley.
The aim is to identify the one in three people who may be infectious without being aware, enabling swift action to be taken to protect colleagues and family members.
Weekly case rates in Daventry district have fallen to 55.8 per 100,000 from a peak of 589.9 in January with 48 new positive tests reported in the seven days up to March 11.
But health chiefs warn that regular testing will be a key part of the campaign to keep the virus under control.
County Council public health consultant, Dr Rhosyn Harris, said: “We know from our existing sites that regular testing of those without symptoms helps us identify a number of positive cases and cut transmission by isolating those individuals.
"It also provides workforces with some reassurance that workers are less likely to transmit the virus without knowing.”
■ The new site will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to noon and 1pm to 6.30pm but test must be booked in advance HERE.
■ Those WITH Covid symptoms need to self-isolate and book a PCR swab test at the testing centre in Chaucer Way car park via the government website HEREor by calling the national booking line on 119.
Priority for the rapid tests is given to workers in key sectors including health or social care, transportation, education or childcare, essential retail or financial services, food production or processing, warehousing or distribution, public sector services including waste bin collections, construction, utilities or communications and agency workers.
Health officials stress a negative result using a lateral flow device does not guarantee someone does not have Covid-19 and does not rule out requirements for good hygeine, social distancing and face coverings.