Essential workers who cannot work from home now have more ways to access regular COVID-19 rapid result lateral flow testing with eleven testing sites now open in Cumbria.
Last week, five testing sites opened in Carlisle, Aspatria, Kendal, Penrith, and Millom.
This week, six additional sites have been been opened in Barrow, Dalton, Milnthorpe, Sedburgh, Workington and Whitehaven.
Lateral flow tests give a result in 30 minutes and help identify asymptomatic carriers, people who do have COVID-19 and are infectious but are not ill. These people can then self-isolate to protect others.
The testing sites are open to any essential workers who cannot work from home and come into regular contact with other people through their job, and who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
The tests are free and no booking is required, but the sites are only open at the times stated.
The tests are a major element of Cumbria’s strategy to battle COVID-19 and are quickly becoming a routine part of many people’s working lives, with thousands having a test every week.
Not all employers are able to provide the testing themselves and that’s where the county’s community testing sites come in.
People who do have symptoms of coronavirus should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. They should not attend a Lateral Flow Community Testing Site.
Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, said: “Mass lateral flow testing of those without symptoms is a key part of the strategy for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and getting us out of lockdown.
“With these additional six sites announced this week, we now have eleven sites up and running. Opening times will be reviewed based on demand for testing and more sites are also being scoped as possibilities.
“People who want to access rapid testing have a range of options to choose from. It’s quick and simple and gives people the reassurance that they are not unwittingly infecting other people as they go about their work.
“I’d strongly encourage those essential workers who are unable to work from home, cannot be tested in the workplace and are in regular contact with other people to make use of the new community testing sites.”