Mass testing is being trialled in a few areas, we have already seen Liverpool, Redcar and other northern cities begin lateral-flow testing for Covid19.
While this testing looks similar to the PCR test, in that it has a swab, it is better at picking up Covid19 in asymptomatic patients, it is also faster to provide results with the majority receiving their results within 30 mins.
Staffordshire has been selected for a further pilot of this fast testing and so over the coming weeks, keep an eye out for more test availability.
Additionally the Government are starting to trial mass tests in a number of care homes in the hope of allowing families to be together with their loved ones. We know how difficult it has been for families and friends who have not been able to see their loved ones throughout the pandemic because they are in a care home.
Last week the Government published updated guidance on how care homes can safely allow visits while national restrictions are in place and from this week we are running pilots at 30 care homes across the country to allow specific family and friends to undertake indoor visits to residents.
We hope to bring an end to the pain of separation and help care homes bring families and loved ones together. The launch of visitor testing is a crucial step to making that happen but we need to do all we can to keep it safe, for patients, staff and of course the visitors.
We all need to take steps to reduce transmission of the virus, so please be conscious of how many trips you are taking, remain mindful of hygiene and social distancing. We can get this figure down if we all work at it and work towards a Covid-free Christmas.