Hammersmith & Fulham Council is supporting the fight against Covid-19 by launching a new borough-wide targeted testing programme.
Image: A woman wears a mask to protect others from the virus
The service will be using ‘lateral flow testing’ to test people for the virus, which involves having a swab in the throat or nose, which is then inserted into a tube of liquid for a short time. The results are available within 30 minutes, and the council will be able to test up to 20,000 asymptomatic people per week. Those who test positive will be advised to isolate and their contacts will traced so they can also be supported to get tested. The new service means that visitors to care homes will be able to be tested in the run-up to Christmas, so that more families are able to safely spend time together.
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.” He added that he wanted to thank all the partners who are helping the council to deliver this service. “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 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 then be extended to school staff, children’s social workers, people in sheltered homes, those with certain medical conditions and key workers, including those working with domestic violence victims. People will be contacted directly to arrange the tests. Meanwhile, residents and local workers with symptoms can call 119 to arrange testing.
For more information about Covid-19 in our borough, or what to do if you or a family member has symptoms, please visit the council’s website. If you have been asked to isolate and you need support with food shopping, medications or simply a friendly ear to speak to, the local Mutual Aid group is still running. Please call 07960199755 for more information or visit the website and type in your postcode to find your nearest group.