Shropshire businesses offered the chance to deliver rapid testing

More businesses in Shropshire are being offered the opportunity to take part in a programme of rapid testing for COVID-19 for their staff.

The initiative is part of the council’s plans to increase the amount of testing across the county to help control the spread of coronavirus. Already community testing centres have been rolled out in Shropshire, with rapid COVID-19 testing being offered to key workers, and plans are in place to increase the community testing capability

However, Shropshire Council recognises that some businesses will be able to do their own testing, and so is making the offer to businesses with staff who cannot work from home due to the nature of their job, to provide rapid tests for routine testing of their staff.

One in three people who are infected display no symptoms and are an important vector in the spread of the virus. Testing of people without symptoms helps to identify and isolate cases and break the chain of transmission.

A number of local businesses and organisations have been supported by the council to help deliver their own training for staff, including Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and day services.

Regular testing of staff has a number of benefits for businesses:-

  • It allows cases and their close contacts to be identified early, avoiding large outbreaks that are very disruptive to business continuity.
  • It provides staff with additional confidence that their employer is taking all possible steps to protect them from the virus.
  • It allows businesses to demonstrate to the community and their customers that they are playing their part in reducing the spread of infection.

Businesses who want to offer testing will be provided with equipment, training and all the advice they need to establish their own programmes.

Shropshire Council is especially interested in involving businesses:

  • That have a medium to large number of staff
  • That employ ‘routine’ and manual workers
  • That have access to occupational health services and/or appropriate staff who can be trained to supervise the tests
  • That have appropriate space to set up to deliver routine testing
  • That are willing to undergo training and to regularly provide data to Shropshire Council’s public health team.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:

“Effective testing is integral if we are going to stop the spread of the virus here in Shropshire.

“We have already seen a strong take up from local organisations looking to offer rapid testing to their staff.

“By identifying cases quickly, they can avoid large outbreaks that can be disruptive to their operations. They will also be helping to protect vulnerable people and support the virus control efforts to get the number of cases  of COVID-19 down.

“We all need to play our part in getting infections down, and regular testing is one way of reducing the number of cases.”

To find out more about our rapid testing training offer, please email lateralflow.phtraining@shropshire.gov.uk

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