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NHS Highland and Highland Council announce rapid community Covid-19 testing to continue in Inverness and Aviemore

By Val Sweeney

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The Jabbernaut.
The Jabbernaut.

Rapid Covid-19 community testing will be continue to be available in Inverness and Aviemore next week.

The community testing programme offers rapid Covid-19 tests for people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms, should not visit a Covid-19 Mobile Clinic.

Instead, they should self-isolate immediately and seek a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

Similarly, people should not attend asymptomatic testing sites if they are currently self-isolating having been identified as a close contact, or if they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days.

Highland Council and NHS Highland are delivering community testing in the Highlands to help people become confident in using the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits.

The mobile testing units will also be operating an LFD collect service which makes packs of seven testing kits available for free to the public to be taken away and used at home.

The continued deployment in Inverness and Aviemore is not due to any particular outbreak in these areas.

The mobile testing unit Jabbernaut will be available for drop-in testing for anyone without symptoms at the Tesco Car Park, Eastfield Way, in the Inverness Business and Retail Park next

Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm each day.

The mobile testing unit Testalot will be available for drop-in testing at the Aviemore Retail Park in Grampian Road next Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm each day.

Dr Tim Allison, director of public health for 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."

The process of registration and testing with the LFD takes about 10 minutes, and results are usually sent within an hour, though may occasionally take up to 24 hours.

Results will be sent by text and/or email to those attending so there is no need to stay on site. Guidance is provided on what to do if a test is negative, positive or unclear.

People who have been vaccinated, should still consider getting tested.

While vaccines reduce the risk of infection after 14 to 21 days, people who have been vaccinated can still become infected.

Free LFD tests for people without Covid-19 symptoms are also available to collect from pharmacies in packs of seven, and can be sent to your home by visiting nhsinform.scot/testing, or by calling 119.

It is used in some workplaces already, including schools and anyone already getting tested through such settings should continue to use those routes.

Highland Council Convener 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."

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, should self-isolate immediately and seek a PCR test. Symptoms include new continuous cough, fever, or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

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

Related story: Mobile covid testing sites announced for Inverness and Aviemore

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