Community testing for COVID-19 is being extended in Dorset.
Even more businesses and organisations can now sign up for asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing under the Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme.
Public Health Dorset is asking businesses and organisations that employ fewer than 250 people (including people who are self-employed), who can’t work from home due to the nature of their role and are open under current government guidelines, to register their interest in community testing.
Eligible businesses and organisations that register their interest and access twice weekly testing for their staff will help keep their companies open and operating protect the families of their employees and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to their customers and communities.
One in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms and can spread the virus without knowing. The aim of asymptomatic testing, through lateral flow devices, is to identify cases quickly and to break the chains of transmission.
Over 560 businesses and organisations have registered and their staff are now having up to two tests a week in line with government guidelines.
Businesses and organisations need to register their interest by visiting www.publichealthdorset.org.uk/your-health/protecting-your-health/dorset-rapid-community-testing.aspx
Employees of businesses and organisations signed up to the Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme can book up to two tests a week until the end of June at their nearest test site.
Test sites are in Wimborne, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Weymouth, Dorchester, Sherborne, Bridport and Wareham.
Businesses or organisations with over 250 employees can access testing by registering interest in the Government’s institution-led testing programme at www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.
Cllr Nicola Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for COVID Resilience and Public Health said, “COVID-19 testing will play a vital part in keeping our community safe as we take cautious steps towards lifting lockdown restrictions, so I am very pleased that we are now making asymptomatic testing available to a wider group of businesses and voluntary organisations.
“I would urge any eligible businesses in the local community to register, and also encourage their employees to take advantage of the service once their employers are registered by signing up for regular testing.”
Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said, “The more businesses and organisations who commit to regular, weekly testing for their employees are not only showing their commitment to keeping their employees safe but to also help stop the spread of transmission in their communities.
“The quicker we can identify COVID-19 cases, the quicker those people can self-isolate and help break the transmission of the virus.”
Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms must keep using the national portal at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. If you have COVID-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high fever, a loss or change of taste, or a loss or change of smell – you must self-isolate immediately and not leave home except for attending your COVID-19 test. Other members of your household and support bubble must also self-isolate.
People who are getting tested as part of their business or organisation community testing must not turn up for their LFD test if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms. They must self-isolate and book a COVID-19 test.
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