22 January 2021| | 4 min read
Targeted asymptomatic testing to begin at Newcastle Civic Centre
A testing facility for people without symptoms of Covid-19 will begin providing routine testing for key workers at Newcastle Civic Centre.
Through a phased rollout, Newcastle City Council will provide lateral flow testing to those key workers in critical services who cannot work from home. This will begin with a pilot involving council staff and be rolled out rapidly to open the offer of routine testing up for other organisations in the city.
Testing is due to begin on Monday January 25.
The site will make use of Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), providing a result in as little as 30 minutes with key workers being offered two tests a week. This routine testing will help to identify asymptomatic but potentially infectious individuals helping to reduce the risk of transmission and outbreaks and therefore continuity of critical services.
Cllr Irim Ali, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health, said: “We’re pleased to be able to provide council facilities to offer targeted routine testing to not only our own staff but other key workers also who do not have the option to work from home.
“This will help us to pick up positive cases in these essential workforces and help to reduce the risk of transmission amongst key workers and the communities they are supporting.
“With approximately one third of those infected with the virus displaying no symptoms at all, asymptomatic testing programmes such as this are key to identifying positive cases early and helping to prevent larger outbreaks from developing.
“By implementing testing in a targeted capacity, this facility will support the continuity of key services and help them to continue with minimal additional interruption.”
The Banqueting Hall testing facility is part of the national testing programme and will run until the end of March. As testing capacity increases, those eligible to use the site will be invited to access regular testing through an independent booking system. Access will be granted by appointment only.
Strict measures will be in place to allow for social distancing and best hygiene practices within the site to protect visitors, operators, and other staff.
The site will not be open to others and you will not be able to book a test for the Banqueting Hall site from the Government website.
Residents who are identified as a close contact as a positive case or develop symptoms of the virus should self-isolate immediately. If you do have a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, or a loss or change to your senses of taste or smell, book a test through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Asymptomatic testing does not remove or replace the need to maintain COVID-secure workplaces and the need for everyone to continue with hygiene and social distancing measures – Hands, Face, Space.