Hammersmith & Fulham Council has begun borough-wide targeted COVID-19 testing.
Using the lateral flow swab test, results will be available within 30 minutes, for up to 20,000 asymptomatic people per week. Those who test positive will be advised immediately to isolate and their contacts traced.
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, said: “With the continued high infection rates, we will do everything possible to protect people by stepping up the fight against COVID-19 with local targeted testing allied with robust track and tracing.
“I want to thank all the partners who are helping us deliver this service and appeal to everyone in the borough to continue to stick to the advice to stay at home to save lives during this lockdown. We can limit the dreadful effects of this pandemic if we all pull together.”
H&F is working with partners on this programme using tests kits provided by the Department of Health and Social Care.
The H&F Council-run operation will initially focus on asymptomatic frontline workers working in nursing homes, care settings and in GP practices in the borough.
This will be extended to school staff, children’s social workers, people in sheltered homes, those with certain medical conditions and key workers, including those handling domestic violence. They will be contacted directly to arrange the tests.
In the run-up to Christmas, H&F will also be testing visitors to care homes to enable families to come together at this time.
Residents and local workers with symptoms will also continue to be encouraged to acquire a test accessed by calling 119.
Allied to the local targeted testing is the introduction of an enhanced track and trace operation directly managed by H&F and devolved from the Serco-run enterprise under the auspices of the NHS.
The council’s own track and trace operation already has a contact rate exceeding 90 per cent for those deemed “unreachable” by the NHS. The local enhanced service will call people with whom those testing positive have been in recent contact.
For more information about COVID-19 in H&F, visit our dedicated pages on our website.
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