Salford has been chosen as a testing site for a new kind of covid testing site.
The new community testing model will identify the best way to deliver a quick and simple saliva test, without any of the reported discomfort of the existing nose and throat swab test.
The development of the use of this new test will begin in Salford with a phased roll out.
When fully implemented it will be available to people who live, work and study in the city and people of all ages and backgrounds will be able to test on a weekly basis by providing saliva into a container, which will then be sent for a simple laboratory process, known as a “LAMP” test.
Aimed at people without symptoms, community testing aims to stop the spread of the virus, by identifying positive cases early.
The local measures in Salford are to protect us and our community from the rise in coronavirus. Help by following them. Visit https://t.co/35KmyRGswj for information and support. #COVID19 #StayAlert #StopTheSpread pic.twitter.com/6rFtLiSkzE
— Salford City Council (@SalfordCouncil) September 4, 2020
The tests will be offered to those without symptoms going about their normal business, with people who think they have coronavirus symptoms still accessing the existing national testing system and sites.
Salford City council believes that community testing is the best way to protect people and communities, to locate and disrupt the spread of the virus as soon as possible and even more so whilst a vaccine is being developed.
The council says they did not support the government when it was ended in early March.
City Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett said: “I am pleased that Salford is working with the government to introduce community testing. We are clear that community testing is the way forward to find, isolate and contain the virus and to break its transmission within our city. It will also support us in taking a more targeted approach.
“I have been saying from the start of the pandemic that the government needs to entrust resources and control to local authorities to test, track and trace the spread of the virus. We understand our communities better at a local level.
Our VCSE Update is out now!
Featuring exciting job opportunities with our team, details of the community testing in Salford announced yesterday plus the 10GM Funding E-bulletin for September; its a bumper edition!
Take a break & catch up on the latest https://t.co/ui3zPeqnnh pic.twitter.com/iuChE3tjGh
— Salford CVS (@SalfordCVS) September 4, 2020
“The best way to control the pandemic is at a local level whilst there is no vaccine available. Our overarching priority is to protect the people of Salford and the lives of vulnerable members of our community.”
With Salford being an early adopter of community testing it means that local people will be providing invaluable feedback on the best way to administer testing, whether in community centres, or at supermarkets or tram stops.
Salford has argued for a long time we can only beat the virus by large scale testing. Thats why we are taking part in the trial . We want our lives back
— John Merry (@JohnDMerry) September 3, 2020
The aim is provide the easiest way for the community to take part so it becomes a normal part of day-to-day life as we live with and hopefully recover from COVID-19 in the near future.
Mayor Dennett continued: “Being at the forefront of the programme will also allow us to raise issues nationally that can discourage people from being tested.
“These include the fear around loss of pay and people being unable to isolate because of a lack of entitlement to statutory sick pay and an inability to make ends meet on such low rates of pay offered through government schemes”.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments or email us at Now@Salford.ac.uk.