More rapid turnaround coronavirus tests are being rolled out in Stoke-on-Trent to catch asymptomatic coronavirus cases.
Latest flow tests – where results take just 20 minutes – have been carried out at Dimensions Leisure Centre in Burslem yesterday and today.
Of the 268 people swabbed, 12 proved to be positive despite having no symptoms.
Now residents are being encouraged to book slots as extra sessions are laid on in the city.
Tests will be carried out at Dimensions and the Wallace Sports and Education Centre in Abbey Hulton next week from Monday to Friday (November 30 to December 4).
Although cases are still widespread, places where there are higher levels of community transmission include Hanley, Shelton, Etruria, Moorcroft, Oakhill and Boothen.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Stoke-on-Trent’s top health boss, said: “We are urging residents to get a test even if they are only showing the mildest of symptoms, especially in those areas with higher levels of community transmission.
“Stoke-on-Trent now has a seven-day infection rate of 402.5 per 100,000 people in the week to November 23.
“Our cases are decreasing and we are making good steady progress, however now is not the time to become complacent. Although the infection rate is beginning to come down, it is not happening quickly enough.
“Some people who test positive tell us they waited to get tested as they didn’t have ‘classic’ Covid symptoms but did feel quite unwell. We need these people to get tested earlier.”
Council leader Abi Brown added: “Testing is vital in our defence against coronavirus. Bringing tests to local people is helping people to isolate more quickly if they have it, and stopping the spread.
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“Over the coming weeks will be moving lateral flow testing to further locations across the city to target areas with high infection rates.
“The tiers will be reviewed again by government on December 16 and I am writing to Secretary of State Matt Hancock to urge him to consider us for review.
“We have two weeks to continue to drive down case numbers; I want to do all we possibly can to get the city out of tier three at the earliest possible opportunity. Please book a test to protect not only yourself, but to protect your family and friends.”
The tests will take placea at:
- Monday, November 30 – Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9.30am to 2pm.
- Tuesday, December 1- Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9.30am to 2pm.
- Wednesday, December 2 – Dimensions Leisure Centre, 9.30am to 2pm.
- Thursday, December 3 – Wallace Sports and Education Centre, 9.30am to 2pm.
- Friday, December 4 – Wallace Sports and Education Centre, 9.30am to 2pm.
A total of 162 tests will be made available at the leisure centres between 9.30am and 2pm with five-minute appointments.
People attending will be asked to isolate either in their own cars or in a designated area at a social distance at the site to receive their results.
If results are positive then individuals will be asked to return for a further test and receive additional support and advice. Should they be negative, they can continue about their normal day-to-day business.
To book a test, visit www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test..