Central Bedfordshire residents over 18 who don’t have symptoms of coronavirus are being urged to take advantage of free rapid COVID tests which are now available from community testing sites, local pharmacies or online.
Over 11,000 tests for people without COVID symptoms have already been done at Central Bedfordshire Council’s Coronavirus rapid testing sites in Dunstable, Flitwick and Biggleswade while over eight hundred more have collected home tests.
Local residents who don’t have symptoms can get a free, rapid test at any of our centres in Biggleswade, Dunstable and Flitwick, where they can also learn how to do a high-quality test at home and collect a home test kit.
Residents can also use the Government’s new home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home or collect tests through a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service where people aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.
People who have coronavirus symptoms should not use this service but must get a PCR test as soon as possible if they have any of these symptoms: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
PCR tests can be booked at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing and Communities, Cllr Tracey Stock, welcomed the news, saying:
“Our community testing centres have carried out over 11,000 tests and found 41 people who were positive for COVID-19 despite having no symptoms. This means 41 local residents are now able to take action to protect themselves, their families and everyone around them, reducing the spread of infection.
“With around one in three people who have coronavirus showing no symptoms, regular rapid testing is vital for those individuals who have regular contact with people who are not part of their household or bubble.
“Regular testing will help identify more people who have COVID-19 and help to reduce the spread of the virus as they will know how to self-isolate.
The first Central Bedfordshire Council rapid testing site for people without symptoms opened on 5 February 2021; since then, 41 people have tested positive for Covid-19 despite having no symptoms meaning the testing centres have helped reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.
- Our test centre at Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre in Biggleswade has carried out 3,293 tests
- At Dunstable Leisure Centre, we have done 3,457 tests
- At Flitwick Leisure Centre, we have done 4,476 tests.
The centres have also given out 1,516 home testing kits, reaching people unable to attend the centres themselves.
A rapid test, also called a lateral flow test, is a test for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and give results in 30 minutes. If you have symptoms you should self-isolate at home and book a standard COVID-19 test online on the NHS website or call 119.
Find out more on the council website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtests and www.NHS.UK/get-tested.