Richmond upon Thames is to increase Covid-19 testing of residents in a bid to identify more cases, reduce the spread of infection and protect lives and livelihoods.
The borough is one of a number of local authorities who have signed up for the roll out of the rapid turnaround lateral flow tests - which can give results in under and hour, without the need for laboratory processing
The Government says councils could receive up to 10,000 tests per week (up to 10% of their population), to allow them to test those who are asymptomatic (i.e: a person who is infected but does not display symptoms). In Richmond, these tests will be used to target vulnerable communities.
The Council is now in discussion with the Department of Health to understand how these tests will be rolled out and which vulnerable groups will be targeted. When the Council has clarity on the programme, it will work with local groups and organisations to ensure that the tests reach the right groups of residents, in the right way.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“We now have three sites in Richmond upon Thames where local people, who are displaying symptoms, can easily access Covid19 tests.
“We asked the Department of Health to include Richmond in this roll-out of rapid testing kits for asymptomatic residents, as we believe that these kits will help us protect our most vulnerable communities, and the people who work with them, by identifying cases quickly and allowing us to reduce the risk of transmission.
“We will now work with health officials, our partners and local organisations to confirm how the testing will be rolled out and we will provide a further update.”
What to do if you are displaying symptoms?
Currently anyone who has one of the main symptoms of a high temperature, new cough or loss of taste or smell must self-isolate immediately and book a test.
The new rapid testing is part of the Government’s overall testing strategy. Testing for people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID will continue to be provided in the usual way. There is a testing centre at Twickenham Stadium, regular testing available at Old Deer Park in Richmond and an additional walk-in testing site at the St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus in Teddington. When you book a test you will be given the option of a test centre based on nearest location to you and availability. The testing sites are currently showing good availability.
If you are displaying symptoms, apply for a test here.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 12 November 2020