Rapid testing on offer as case rates double
RAPID tests for Covid-19 are now available to anyone living or working in South Gloucestershire.
Critical workers and community volunteers – including nursery workers, funeral directors, staff in essential shops and bus and taxi drivers – are being offered weekly tests, as the programme to find people who have the virus but no symptoms is expanded.
It comes as the number of cases of coronavirus in the area stands at more than double a month previously – and the total number of residents who have died with the virus passes 280.
The council says the rapid testing programme is aimed at finding people who have coronavirus but no symptoms, so that they can isolate and prevent the virus spreading.
The test involves taking a sample of saliva to look for signs of Covid-19, returning results within an hour.
The first testing site was set up at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on January 18 and a second site in Kingswood was expected to be set up in the week beginning January 25.
They are separate from the testing sites in use for people who are experiencing symptoms, including one in Mangotsfield and one at UWE’s campus.
Rapid tests can be booked online at beta.southglos.gov.uk/book-rapid-flow-test/.
The most recent Office for National Statistics figures as the Voice went to print showed that during the week to January 14, a total of 50 Covid-19 cases had been confirmed in Emersons Green, along with 47 in the ONS’s Pucklechurch and Westerleigh area.
Another 42 cases had been confirmed in Downend, 28 in Mangotsfield, 31 in tStaple Hill North and 41 in Staple Hill South and Kingswood North West.
Case rates had fallen in most areas from the previous week – when Emersons Green had 65 new cases – but were more than double the level a month previously, when Emersons Green and Pucklechurch & Westerleigh both had 17 confirmed cases over a seven-day period.
For South Gloucestershire, the number of confirmed cases in the week to January 14 was 1,144 – down from 1,284 a week previously but more than twice the total of 541 four weeks before. Since the start of the pandemic, 11,756 cases have been confirmed.