Published: Thursday, 11th February 2021
Over the coming days and weeks, residents are being offered access to symptom-free rapid-result testing at sites across West Norfolk.
Taking part in this type of testing can help stop the spread early, which could help reduce the number of cases that are being seen in west Norfolk. One in every three people who have coronavirus, may show no symptoms. This is a quick-and-easy way to identify where there might be cases, ensuring that those who need to self-isolate do so and that they can access any support they may need if they are not able to work while they are isolating.
To find out if there is testing available in your area and to book an appointment, scan the QR Code or visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/rapidtesting. This will take you to a Norfolk County Council webpage where you can search for your nearest testing station, and book in for a test.
For the week commencing 15 February 2021 the test areas and testing sites are as follows:
Fairstead and Springwood area - Fairstead Community Centre (15-19 February)
Town, South and West Lynn - St James Swimming Pool (15-19 February)
Oasis Leisure Centre - Hunstanton (15-19 February)
When attending for an appointment, residents should wear masks, observe social distancing and ensure they have a valid mobile phone number so that they can receive their results. Test results are usually provided within 30 minutes.
Anyone receiving a positive result will be advised to self-isolate immediately. They will be referred to test and trace and will need to ensure that anyone in their household also self-isolates.
The latest roll out of testing follows on from a pilot that has been running for a few weeks. This initially involved testing staff from the council and partners such as Freebridge, DWP, Kier and the police, before moving on to offer the testing to local businesses in the Town, South and West Lynn area and in the Gaywood area.
Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Public Protection, said: "Throughout this pandemic we have been doing everything we can to try to reduce the spread and prevent outbreaks. However the numbers are not decreasing as quickly as we would like. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to have a test, if they live or work in one of the above areas. Anyone of us could have the virus and could be spreading it unknowingly because we do not have any symptoms.
"This testing is an extra tool to help us reduce the opportunity for the virus to be transmitted. Even if the test result is negative, it is still vitally important that people follow the lockdown restrictions and that when they are out for shopping, work or other essential appointments, they adhere to social distancing, handwashing and they wear a face covering when required. It is important that we all do our bit to help protect ourselves, protect others and protect west Norfolk."
Rapid-result testing (Lateral Flow) is a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of symptom-free people, better enabling the identification of those who may be carrying the infection and need to isolate. This helps to break the chain of transmission.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 10 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.
Symptom-free rapid-result testing is being rolled out across Norfolk through a partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health Norfolk and district councils. Pilots have taken place in Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.