Rapid Community COVID-19 testing launches in Hertfordshire
Key and essential workers who cannot work from home are being encouraged to book regular rapid Covid-19 tests as part of Hertfordshire's new community testing scheme launching this week.
With rates of COVID-19 in Hertfordshire still high, it is more important than ever that we all continue to play our part in keeping our communities safe. Regular rapid testing is one of the ways those who have to go out to work or for essential reasons can do this.
Community testing 'pop-up' sites and roving vehicles are now operating across the county and offer free coronavirus tests to those without symptoms, with results available in around 45 minutes. Centres in Welwyn Hatfield have been set up at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield and the Focolare Centre, Welwyn Garden City.
This programme of rapid testing will help find those who are infected and break the chain of transmission to ensure that essential services in Hertfordshire are as safe as possible.
Hertfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, Tim Hutchings, said:
Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms, which means they can spread the virus to their loved ones without realising.
By taking a rapid test, it means you will know almost immediately if you have coronavirus, so that you can protect your family, friends and community and ultimately break the chain of transmission of the virus.
Organisations across the county are playing their part to support the community rapid testing programme, including the University of Hertfordshire, which is home to one of the largest rapid testing centres in the county.
Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire said:
We are proud to be partnering with Hertfordshire County Council to support our fantastic local critical workers to receive asymptomatic testing and help minimise the risk and transmission of the coronavirus locally.
As a result of our own onsite Asymptomatic Testing Centre, opened last year, and our extensive on campus safety measures, we have continued to maintain a consistently low number of infections in our community.
Opening this new service for Hertfordshire residents at the University's College Lane campus is part of our ongoing commitment to do whatever we can to help the local and national fight against COVID-19.
Hertfordshire's rapid tests are available by appointment only and bookable up to a week in advance, with results sent to you by text or email in 45 minutes. To book simply visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest. Check the website regularly as new test centres are opening every week.
Those with symptoms cannot have a rapid test and must not go to a rapid test centre - instead they should book a standard coronavirus (PCR) test at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Key and essential workers include people working in the following areas:
- health and social care, including voluntary and private sector
- education and childcare, including voluntary and private sector
- utilities (gas, water, electric etc) and communications, including refuse, highways and waste workers
- food and necessary goods
- key public services (for example, courts, emergency services, Job Centres, benefits and advice sectors)
- public safety and national security
- national and local government