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Highland Council and NHS Highland's 'Moves Like Jagger' mobile community testing unit open at Inverness retail park for people without Covid-19 symptoms until Friday this week

By Alasdair Fraser

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Lateral flow testing
Lateral flow testing

Rapid Covid-19 community testing is available in Inverness until Friday (July 2).

The community testing programme offers rapid coronavirus tests for people without symptoms.

Planned and delivered by Highland Council and NHS Highland, the move is aimed at helping people become confident in using Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits.

Similar initiatives will operate in Tain and Dornoch.

A Highland Council spokesman said: "As cases in the Highland region rise, further access to LFD testing, and assisting people in administering the test, becomes more important.

"However, we are not deploying to these locations due to any particular outbreak in these areas. Tain and Dornoch have not previously been visited by a Mobile Covid Clinic for testing, and Inverness has been selected in order to provide access to the highest number of people.

"This will be the first week of rapid testing by our new mobile testing unit, Moves Like Jagger."

The service is available to anyone without symptoms at: Tesco Car Park, 1A Eastfield Way, Inverness Business & Retail Park, Inverness (Moves Like Jagger).

Remaining days: Tuesday, June 29 until Friday, July 2 (all 9.30 am to 4.30 pm).

The mobile testing unit Jabbernaut will be available for drop-in testing for anyone without symptoms at: Tain Royal Academy Car Park, Hartfield Rd, Tain (Jabbernaut) on Tuesday, June 29 (9:30 am to 3 pm) and at Dornoch Academy Car Park, Evelix Rd, Dornoch (Jabbernaut) on Wednesday, June 30 (9:30 am to 4:30 pm) and Thursday, July 1 (9:30 am to 4:30pm)

The mobile testing units will also be operating an LFD collect service, which makes packs of seven testing kits available for free to the publicfor use at home.

The testing process takes 10 minutes and results are usually sent within an hour, although they can take up to 24 hours.

The test uses the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) and is easy to administer. Results will be sent by text and/or email to those attending, with no need to stay on site.

Guidance is provided on what to do if a test is negative, positive or unclear.

The spokesman added: "By taking a rapid LFD test twice a week, you can help your community, families and friends stay safe and slow down the spread of coronavirus. Tracking down cases of the virus earlier will limit the spread of new variants.

"If you have been vaccinated, you should still consider getting tested. While vaccines reduce the risk of infection after 14-21 days, people who have been vaccinated could still become infected. No vaccine provides 100 per cent protection against a virus.

"No appointment is necessary to receive a test. When you arrive at a mobile testing unit, you will first be asked to wait outside, before being registered and entering. You will then be escorted to a testing booth."

LFD tests for people without Covid-19 symptoms can also be sent to the person's home in packs of seven, by visiting the UK Government's coronavirus support page.

The LFD test is used in some workplaces already, including schools.

Convener of The Highland Council, Bill Lobban, said: “In Highland, we now have three mobile testing units available to travel to identified locations with a team of trained staff to deliver testing for people without symptoms.

"Our mobile units can be deployed wherever needed.

"If mobile units come to your area we encourage you to make use of the testing facilities as this will enable quick detection of any localised cases of Covid-19.

"It also offers reassurance for anyone concerned about potentially being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.”

Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health with NHS Highland, said: “Many people who have coronavirus have no symptoms, and will be spreading it without realising. By expanding community testing we will be able to identify more cases giving us a better chance of stopping Covid-19 from spreading.

“Testing for those without symptoms, asymptomatic testing, will help us to identify those who are positive but do not have symptoms.

"We can then advise them to self-isolate and therefore prevent spread. Anyone that tests positive with an LFD needs to get a confirmatory PCR test. More testing helps to show us how the virus is spread and will help us reduce risk.”

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, or identified as a close contact of Covid-19, should self-isolate immediately and access PCR testing.

Symptoms include new continuous cough, fever, or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste. Those with symptoms should not use an LFD test.

Similarly, those with symptoms should not attend asymptomatic testing sites if currently self-isolating after being identified as a close contact, or if they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days.

PCR tests for people with Covid-19 symptoms can be arranged by visiting nhsinform.scot or by calling 119.

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