2020-12-12 20:35:57 | How the Government’s mass Covid testing plan will work


Story by: Telegraph reporters The Telegraph

Where will mass Covid testing take place?

There are 67 Tier 3 which will be among the first to start community coronavirus testing programmes, according to the Department of Health.

These are:

  • Amber Valley
  • Bolsover
  • Chesterfield
  • Derbyshire Dales
  • North East Derbyshire
  • South Derbyshire
  • Darlington
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Ashford
  • Canterbury
  • Dartford
  • Dover
  • Folkestone and Hythe
  • Gravesham
  • Maidstone
  • Sevenoaks
  • Swale
  • Thanet
  • Tonbridge and Malling
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Medway
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Burnley
  • Chorley
  • Fylde
  • Hyndburn
  • Lancaster
  • Pendle
  • Preston
  • Ribble Valley
  • Rossendale
  • South Ribble
  • West Lancashire
  • Wyre
  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • Manchester
  • Oldham
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford
  • Wigan
  • Barnsley
  • Bradford
  • Kirklees
  • Birmingham
  • Dudley
  • Sandwell
  • Cannock Chase
  • East Staffordshire
  • Lichfield
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • South Staffordshire
  • Stafford
  • Staffordshire Moorlands
  • Tamworth
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • North Warwickshire
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth
  • Rugby
  • Stratford-on-Avon
  • Warwick
  • Wolverhampton
  • Solihull

Where will schools mass testing take place?

In addition to mass community testing, it was announced on 10th December that mass testing would be rolled out in secondary schools in parts of north-east London, south Essex and Kent.

In north-east London, an additional 44,000 home test kits will be made available for school staff.

Fifteen mobile testing units will be deployed in or near schools in the worst-affected boroughs of the capital for staff, students and their families to be tested, the Government has said.

The London boroughs receiving additional testing are:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Hackney and the City
  • Havering
  • Newham
  • Redbridge
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Waltham Forest 

In Essex, an additional 10 mobile testing units will be deployed from December 12. The Essex boroughs included are:

  • Southend
  • Basildon
  • Canvey Island
  • Harlow
  • Brentwood 
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In Kent, an additional two mobile testing units (MTU) will also be deployed on Saturday December 12, with a further 10 MTUs arriving later in the weekend. 

What happened to mass testing in Liverpool?

The entire population of Liverpool was offered regular coronavirus testing from November 6 with 2,000 members of the armed forces providing logistical assistance.

Residents received results within 20 to 90 minutes of taking a test.

In a press conference on November 16, Dr Susan Hopkins said nearly 100,000 people had been tested with lateral flow devices.

But Dr Angela Raffle has said the claims made by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health that there had been a three-quarters drop in Liverpool because of mass testing were “completely false.” 

On the success of the Liverpool mass testing scheme, she added: “The infection rate in Liverpool has come down no quicker than in many other places that haven’t got mass testing and we haven’t yet seen a proper evaluation report from Liverpool.”

The number of cases in the seven days prior to November 23 was 40 per cent lower than the week before, according to Liverpool City Council.

Around 27 per cent of those cases confirmed were detected using lateral flow testing kits.

How do I book an NHS Covid-19 test?

The NHS says that from day one to day four of showing symptoms people are able to be tested at a site or at home. 

“If you’re ordering a home test kit on day four, do it by 3pm. On day five, you need to go to a test site. It’s too late to order a home test kit,” the NHS explains.

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It says that people are able to order tests for others in their household: “If other people you live with have symptoms, you can order tests for up to three of them.

“If you’re applying for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they’re happy for you to get a test for them.”

Apply online at www.gov.uk or phone 119 if you have problems using the internet.

How long does the test result take?

A text or email will be sent when results are ready, with most people receiving results the day after the test.

“Some results might take longer, but you should get them in 72 hours,” the NHS says.

“There are three types of results you can get: negative; positive; and unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive.

“If you do not get your result, call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland). The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.”

Can students get a test to travel home for Christmas?

As of November 30, university students in the UK will be able to get tested for coronavirus before going home for the Christmas holidays. 

Students have been asked to take two tests, three days apart, in order to produce a more accurate result. Should they test negative, many will leave university for the holidays during the ‘travel corridor’ which will begin December 3.  

Temporary testing sites have been set up at university campuses across the country to ensure that this mass testing scheme is carried out. However, the tests are voluntary and the scheme is not available at all UK universities. 

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What are antibody tests, and can I get one in the UK?

An antibody test is a blood test that checks if someone has had coronavirus. Free antibody testing is not yet widely available.

“It’s currently offered to NHS and care staff, as well as some hospital patients and care home residents,” according to the NHS.

Here’s what the NHS says about the test:

  • An antibody test checks for antibodies in your blood
  • Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. They help fight the infection
  • If you have coronavirus antibodies in your blood, it’s likely you’ve had the virus before
  • It’s not known if having antibodies stops you getting the virus again

​In late July, The Telegraph reported that the hunt for a “game-changing” antibody test could be over after a version backed by the UK Government passed its first major trials with flying colours.


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Source References: The Telegraph

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