Bolton to benefit from symptom-free testing

A targeted COVID-19 testing programme is being introduced in Bolton, helping protect our community by identifying those who have the virus but may not realise it.

Asymptomatic rapid testing will initially be offered to a targeted group of critical workers across the borough from Monday, January 18. 

This will help support vital health, social and community services to keep running safely.

Many people infected with COVID-19 suffer no symptoms but still risk passing it on to their colleagues, family, friends and members of the public.

As well as the obvious health risks, if the virus is allowed to spread quickly through a workplace it can seriously disrupt the vital services we all depend on.

The programme is targeted at those most at risk of catching the virus, including care workers and emergency services personal.

With support from the Ministry of Defence, tests will be delivered at key sites in the borough with results available in as little as 30 minutes.

Testing will be by invitation only, and walk in tests will not be available to members of the public.

The council will contact the relevant employers to let them know their staff are eligible to take part.

Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, said:

“Everyone has a part to play in keeping our community safe and helping Bolton beat this virus.

“This quick and simple test will be vital in helping us find those who may be unwittingly passing the virus on as they go about their work providing valuable frontline services. 

“It is still essential to carry on with all the COVID safe measures for workplaces, testing is another tool to help to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We will shortly be in touch with employers about the programme.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Cllr Sue Baines, said:

“While many residents will be working from home during the lockdown, there are many others who do not have this option as they deliver the essential services we all rely on.

“Unfortunately that means they are at greater risk of catching the virus and then passing it on to vulnerable colleagues and relatives, perhaps without even realising it.

“These rapid tests will help reduce the risk of that transmission and is just one tool in our concentrated efforts to bring this virus under control in Bolton.”

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Published: 13th January 2021