Latest News

Rapid Covid testing coming for ‘high risk’ Bristol workers

THE BIGGEST STORIES ACROSS BRISTOL IN YOUR INBOX

“,”buttonText”:”SIGN UP”,”contentId”:609798,”newsletterImage”:”https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2590780.ece/BINARY/4_GettyImages-158031306.jpg”,”endpointUrl”:”https://response.pure360.com/interface/list.php”,”profile”:”Bristol_Live”,”isPure360NewsLetter”:true,”pure360MailingListId”:”Bristol Live – Daily Newsletter”,”newsletterSiteName”:”BristolLive”}” data-mod=”skinnySignup”>

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Invalid Email

Rapid coronavirus testing is to be rolled out more widely in Bristol, with repeat testing for specific groups planned and the possibility that the army will be called in to help.

The rapid ‘lateral flow antigen’ tests, which can return results within a matter of minutes, are used to detect whether people without any symptoms are in fact carrying the virus.

Quickly identifying infectious people who don’t have any symptoms is an important tool in reducing the spread of Covid-19.

Get the biggest stories from across Bristol straight to your inbox.

The rapid tests are already used in the NHS to check if patient-facing staff are infected, and were deployed in a successful pilot in Liverpool to help it out of tier 3 and into tier 2.

They will also be used in a free testing programme for university students so they can safely head home for Christmas.

Now the rapid tests are on their way to parts of the wider population in Bristol, probably for people in high risk occupations such as supermarket workers and bus drivers.

Director of public health Christina Gray said Bristol City Council has just received its first batch of the rapid tests, which are swab tests not saliva tests and take 40 minutes to get a result.

But the council can only order a limited number of the tests, so will be carrying out a pilot to decide where they would be most useful, she said.

The council is also waiting to hear from the government about further rapid community testing available under tier 3, with the possibility of military personnel being drafted in to help.

Bristol City Council’s director of public health, Christina Gray

Rapid tests for up to 10 per cent of Bristol residents

“We’ve only just received our first delivery of 10,000 tests and we have to have a plan for deployment of those tests, and we have to have that plan signed off by the Department of Health and Social Care,” Ms Gray told the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Thursday (November 26).

“There’s a lot of logistics to get that set up and a lot of clinical governance to make sure that it’s done safely.

“We’ve just started that process.

“So we get 10,000 initial tests, and then we can order [enough] tests [for] up to 10 per cent of our population.

“So we won’t have tests for the whole of the population.”

‘High-risk occupations’ in line for rapid tests

Ms Gray said clinical leaders were still deciding who to target with the rapid testing.

“It will be places like high-risk occupations…who tend to be individuals who’ve got front-line facing work,” she said.

“We need to look at both what we know about high-risk occupations and what we’re seeing in our data to deploy those tests to best effect, and we’ll need to pilot them initially to see that we’ve got it right.”

Negative test not a ‘free pass’

People with a positive test would have to self-isolate whereas people with a negative test would have to continue behaving cautiously, as if those and others around them have the virus.

Ms Gray said: “What these tests are very good at is detecting [when] someone is highly infectious but not showing any symptoms.

“Now that’s very useful when you’re managing a pandemic and you’re trying to detect early where the virus is and break chains of transmission or you’re trying to detect where the virus is to protect vulnerable people.

“A negative result simply tells you…you’re not highly infectious at that moment.

“So to deploy the test safely you’ve got to do serial, repeat testing within a defined population group in order to detect the virus and prevent onward transmission.

“If you get a negative test, you continue as always, very carefully, you can’t assume you don’t have the virus.

“You could be exposed again, you could be developing the virus. It’s not a [free] pass.”

Army could be called in for ‘further community testing’

Ms Gray said the city was not getting any additional resources to roll-out its limited supply of rapid coronavirus tests.

However, she hinted that the army might be used to deploy wider community testing using rapid tests made available by the government under tier 3.

She said: “Now that we’re in tier 3, in addition to the tests that I’ve got, we have the option to mobilise further community testing.

“Now that requires a huge amount of logistics. So in Liverpool, that’s where they had 2,000 military personnel.

“I haven’t got any more information about that [extra testing].

“But my expectation would be that we would get some additional logistical resource to help deploy that.”

Read More

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker