Community testing coronavirus will be trialled in Salford.
The scheme aims to find the best way to deliver community testing through a quick and simple saliva test. The test comes without any of the discomfort of the existing nose and throat swab test.
The aim is to offer people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms a weekly test. This will identify any positive cases early and allow those who know they are coronavirus free to go about their normal lives.
Those who have coronavirus symptoms will continue to be tested through the national testing system and sites.
People provide a saliva sample into a container. This is then sent for a simple laboratory process, known as a LAMP test.
It will be rolled out gradually in phases in Salford, but the aim is to make it available to anyone who lives, works or studies in Salford.
If people test positive, they can quickly follow the advice to stay home and protect those they have had contact with; if not they can go about their normal, daily lives.
Local people will provide valuable feedback on the best way to provide community testing – including the best and most convenient locations.
The aim is to provide the easiest way for people to take part so testing becomes a normal part of day-to-day life so that we can return to more fully opening up the economy and society.
Salford City council believes that community testing to locate and disrupt the spread of the virus as soon as possible is the best way to protect people’s health and keep Salford’s economy open.
It will help the council take a more targeted approach to tackling the virus and this is even more important whilst a vaccine is being developed.
The council firmly believes community testing should have continued throughout the pandemic and did not support the government when it was ended in early March.
Being at the forefront of the programme will also allow the council to raise issues and shape testing so that it works for communities.
What will the test involve?
Saliva is collected in a secure tube and then sent to the laboratory to be tested. It is less invasive than the PCR test (swabs) currently being undertaken. The test requires a person to drool a small amount of saliva into a small funnel which then captures the saliva in a small tube.
Where will it be offered?
It is proposed that there will be an initial two-week period to test the ‘proof of concept’. This would enable us to test end-to-end the reliability of the different elements of what is a complex practical process. The ‘proof of concept’ testing will take place with smaller groups of our community and enable us to ensure each of these elements is working well before then rolling out a Salford-wide programme, that is yet to be determined.
We will be in regular communication with you we introduce the testing and ensure our citizens are aware when these tests are available in specific areas and when they will be widely available across the city and the process for taking a test.
What do I do if I want to take a test?
We know everyone is keen to see community testing as soon as possible – we are currently making sure all of the processes are in place before we start to publicise the initial areas for testing and this will be built up across the city.
What happens if I test positive?
If you test positive, you will be informed and asked to isolate (with your household members) as per national government advice.
If I test positive, can I claim sick pay?
Please see national government advice about all aspects of coronavirus.