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Rapid Covid-19 community testing available at Inverness Inshes Retail Park from Monday to Friday September 17 and in Muir of Ord Library Car Park from Monday to Thursday September 16 - with the chance of winning a Kindle for anyone who attends

By Louise Glen

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At the Jabbernaut launch are Chris Dowling, Cairngorm Group; Dr Boyd Paters, Medical Director, NHS Highland and Donna Manson, Highland Council chief executive.
At the Jabbernaut launch are Chris Dowling, Cairngorm Group; Dr Boyd Paters, Medical Director, NHS Highland and Donna Manson, Highland Council chief executive.

Highland Council is inviting anyone who would like to learn how to use the Covid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) to attend its mobile units next week.

Rapid Covid-19 community testing will be available in Inshes Retail Park from Monday 13 September to Friday 17 September, and will also be available in Muir of Ord Library Car Park from Monday 13 September to Thursday 16 September.

The 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.

For anyone who attends there is also the opportunity to win a 10th generation Amazon Kindle.

Covid-19 mobile clinics are being deployed in communities throughout the Highland region, with staff and volunteers who can assist in administering the test.

The deployment to Inverness East and Muir of Ord is not due to any particular outbreak in those areas.

The mobile testing unit Jabbernaut will be available for drop-in LFD testing for anyone without symptoms at Tesco Car Park, Inshes Retail Park, Milton of Inshes, IV2 3TW from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 4pm each day until Friday September 17 when it will be open between 9am-3pm.

The mobile testing unit Testalot will be available for drop-in LFD testing for anyone without symptoms at Muir of Ord Library Car Park, Great North Road, Muir of Ord, IV6 7SU from Monday until Thursday September 16 between 9am and 4pm each day.

A spokeswoman said: "Those who attend a Covid-19 Mobile Clinic will also have the opportunity to enter a free monthly draw to win an Amazon Kindle e-reader, 10th generation, with 6” backlit display, after completing an exit survey.

"The winner will be drawn by random at the end of the month.

"The test uses the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) and is easy to administer. The process of registration and testing takes approximately ten 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.

"By taking a rapid LFD test twice a week, we can help our 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 an LFD 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. Guidance will be given on how to take the test, and there is no need to wait on-site to receive your result.

"The mobile testing unit 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. If you are visiting a Mobile Clinic it is advised to take a test on-site, to familiarise yourself with the process, before taking a pack home.

"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.

"The LFD test is used in some workplaces already, including schools. If you already get tested through your workplace or education setting you should continue to use those routes."

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 at NHS Highland, said: “Many people who have coronavirus (Covid-19) 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 community testing programme offers rapid Covid-19 tests for people without symptoms.

If you do have symptoms, you should not visit a Covid-19 mobile clinic. Instead, you should self-isolate immediately and seek a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Symptoms include new continuous cough, fever, or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

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

Whilst the unit is being deployed, anyone that has symptoms of Covid-19, or has been identified as a close contact of Covid-19, will not be tested on-site and must access PCR testing.

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

READ: NHS Highland medical director Dr Boyd Peters says the board is working to protect most vital services and asks the public for understanding during this period of high Covid infection rates

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