ALL residents in the borough who are either essential workers, volunteering, providing vital support for a vulnerable resident, or need regular reassurance that they don’t have COVID-19, can now apply for a rapid COVID-19 test; this test is for people NOT experiencing symptoms or asymptomatic.
We know that up to one in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms but that does not mean they are not infectious. Lateral flow devices (LFDs) are one of the tools being used to help us to detect and fight COVID-19.
These tests can allow individuals with no symptoms to check if they have the virus, when they otherwise wouldn’t know, and make sure they are not putting others at risk. The rapid turnaround, lateral flow tests - which can give results in under an hour, without the need for laboratory processing.
Over the past few weeks, residents in those wards with the highest rates of new cases of COVID-19 were able to have a test. Now, the Council is expanding this offer - particularly to essential workers, including those who work in supermarkets, taxi or mini cab drivers, transport staff, those who work in key public services or in faith-based organisations. In addition, residents who are volunteering or providing care for a vulnerable person can also apply.
The lateral flow testing is in addition to the symptomatic testing (sometimes called PCR Testing), that is already available for those displaying COVID-19 symptoms at three venues across the borough.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“Over the past few weeks hundreds of people from the wards seeing a high number of cases have been receiving regular asymptomatic testing - to give them the reassurance that they are Covid free - but also ensure those who have the virus take immediate action and self-isolate.
“However, Covid-19 continues to spread. Whilst most people are following the Government guidance and staying at home, there are some who cannot, for work, volunteering or caring responsibilities. If this is you - get a regular test, and make an appointment to come twice a week.
“We will be expanding up our testing over the weeks ahead as more and more people want to access the service.”
If you are NOT displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and need a test:
- If you have access to the internet, go to: www.richmond.gov.uk/book_lateral_flow_test
- If you do not have access to the internet, call: 020 8891 1411
This testing is entirely voluntary. Booking is essential to reduce the spread of the virus through the community. You must not come to a test centre if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If your rapid test result is positive you must take a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible after your result and must self-isolate immediately for 10 days.
If you DO have COVID-19 symptoms and need a test:
Currently anyone who DOES have 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 and receive their results in 48 hours.
There is a testing centre for those displaying symptoms 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 online.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 7 January 2021