Extending Calderdale’s targeted testing

As part of Calderdale’s wider programme of targeted community COVID-19 testing, frontline Council staff will soon start to receive lateral flow tests.

Calderdale Council has been carrying out targeted community testing with lateral flow tests as one of the many measures being used to prevent and control COVID-19.  The tests are sometimes known as rapid tests, as the results are available usually within an hour, so can be a useful way of finding people with COVID-19 who don’t have symptoms.

Lateral flow testing was introduced in Calderdale schools in December and despite schools now being closed except for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, this will continue for staff in attendance.

The Council is also working closely with groups and settings to extend community testing in places where there is an increased risk that people will come into contact with the virus. This will now include frontline Council staff as well as other public facing workers that must continue to work during the lockdown such as those working in transport, food, shops and emergency services.

Council staff are playing a vital role in helping local people during the pandemic, including the most vulnerable. The community-based nature of many of these roles, means that they’re also more like to come into contact with the virus.

Around 600 frontline staff working in roles including adults and children’s health and social care and customer services will have the opportunity to be tested twice a week. Results will be received in around an hour.

By identifying any staff that are unaware that they are carrying the virus, we can support them to isolate at home sooner and prevent them passing the virus on to others.

Targeted testing works alongside the local test and trace system and support for people who need to self-isolate. Any positive tests will link to the NHS contact tracing system.

Lateral flow testing is for people who are asymptomatic (have no COVID-19 symptoms) if you or your family have any COVID-19 symptoms please book a test at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, or through the NHS COVID-19 app, or by calling 119. More guidance can be found at  https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus/guidance/test-trace