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Health blog: Targeted testing in our community

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

This week, the government announced a significant expansion of Covid-19 testing for those with no symptoms. Wirral, will be among some of the first to benefit and will receive an allocation of the rapid turnaround tests (known as lateral flow antigen tests).

One of the challenges with Coronavirus is that not everybody who has it displays symptoms.

People who are carrying the virus, without the symptoms (those who are ‘asymptomatic’), can still spread it to others without knowing it.

At this stage it must be made clear this is not mass testing as we have seen in Liverpool. It is a targeted testing programme which will help us control the virus and limit its spread amongst the most vulnerable people in the borough.

We will be looking to use this new testing technology among high risk groups and settings across the Borough.

We are keen to move quickly on this and I will have more information for you soon.

While there is a lot of excitement and buzz around new testing advances, for now I’d like to reiterate that the best protection for ourselves, our families and our communities is to carry on practicing the basics:

  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your face
  • Keep your distance from others

And please, remember, if you do have any of the main symptoms of Coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you must stay at home and get tested.

Information on how to do this locally is available at www.wirral.gov.uk/test.

Stay safe and thanks for reading.

Julie