Rapid Covid testing set be rolled out in Nottinghamshire soon
Council leaders have broadly welcomed news that 20,000 rapid tests are soon expected to be rolled out in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, following a trial in Liverpool.
It is expected the testing kits – which can give a result within the hour – will be sent out to top-level local councils this week.
However, it is not yet clear exactly when the testing will start, or how the scheme will be administered.
Jonathan Gribbin, director of public health for Nottinghamshire, said: “We can confirm that Nottinghamshire has been offered a supply of lateral flow tests.
“It’s too early to comment on how this will be deployed across the county, but we welcome any measures that strengthen our test and trace capabilities.”
Alison Challenger, director of public health in Nottingham, added: “Nottingham has been approached to be included in the new testing programme for Covid-19 that is being rolled out across the country.
“We are waiting for more information from the Government and will work with partners in the city to understand how we could use this to benefit our communities.
“Cases of Covid-19 have been falling in Nottingham.
“People have been following the ‘hands/face/space’ guidance and we’ve worked hard as a city to stick to the restrictions set out in tiers two and three – and now as part of the national lockdown.
“We will look at how best we could incorporate this additional testing as part of our city’s ongoing response to Covid-19.”
Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield, said in a statement and online: “Great to see that Nottinghamshire will be front of the queue as the mass testing programme is rolled out, following the trial currently underway in Liverpool.
“Talks have started to introduce the programme in Nottinghamshire with over 20,000 tests a week.
“This is following on from the separate, but very positive announcement yesterday that the Pfizer vaccine is 90 percent effective in trials – progress.”
Alex Norris MP, who represents Nottingham North, and is the shadow public health secretary, said: “I welcome greater testing capacity as it will help us get more parts of our lives back to normal. It is vital though that we have the tracing support to come with it – that’s failed nationally throughout the pandemic. Nottingham should be given powers and resources to run it locally.”
CounJason Zadrozny, Ashfield District Council leader, commented: Any increase in testing in good news.
“This will allow the county to finally prioritise testing for key workers like NHS staff, care home staff and teaching staff.
“This is something the Ashfield Independents have been calling for since lockdown in the middle of March.
“This does seem to be rolled out in haste without learning lessons from the ongoing pilot in Liverpool.
"I know this is something that Jonathan Gribben is rightly concerned about.
“He has urged caution but this has been ignored by the health secretary.
“Anything that will give us a better, more accurate indication of levels of coronavirus is to be welcomed however.
“I would encourage everybody in Nottinghamshire to take part and help drive the R rate down.”