Keeping Covid-19 infection rates low is key to the Government's plans to get England out of lockdown – and people in Wolverhampton are being urged to play their part by getting tested regularly for the virus.
John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "As many as a third of people with Covid-19 don't have symptoms of the virus, but they could still pass it on to others.
“That's why getting tested regularly is so important; by doing so will ensure that you are don't unknowingly spread Covid-19 onto friends, family or work colleagues.
"Testing is a key component of the Government's roadmap to get the country out of lockdown, and the onus is on us all to play our part.
“It's particularly important to get a regular test if you cannot work from home. As a council, we are encouraging all our staff who cannot work from home to be tested twice a week, and those that can work from home to be tested weekly, and I would ask local employers to protect their workforce and the wider community by enabling their colleagues to be tested regularly.”
Free rapid testing for people without any symptoms of Covid-19 is available at:
- The Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm
- The Jamia Masjid Bilal, Newhampton Road West, 10am-6.30pm daily
- Pendeford Library, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm
- The Hub at Ashmore Park, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am-6pm
- St Joseph’s Church, Willenhall Road, Monday-Friday, 2pm-6pm
- Bilston Community Centre, Prouds Lane, Thursday, Friday and Monday, 8am-4pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm.
People who are classed as 'critical workers' and are unable to work from home have priority access to rapid testing at the Civic Centre between 8am and 9am, Monday to Friday; Pendeford Library from 7am-10am and 4pm-6pm, Monday to Friday; and Bilston Community Centre between 8am and 9am Monday, Thursday and Friday. Workers are asked to bring a form of ID to prove eligibility.
Around 60,000 rapid tests have been completed in Wolverhampton, with nearly 2,000 positive cases being found. These individuals have self-isolated, preventing the spread of the virus to others.
John added: "Our rapid testing programme has helped infection rates in the city drop significantly, and I would urge anyone without symptoms of Covid-19 to play their part by getting tested so that, together, we can break the chain of transmission and get out of lockdown successfully."
More information on rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is available at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-testing; please go to the Asymptomatic section.
People with symptoms of Covid-19, which include a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to the sense of taste or smell, are reminded they must immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119.
Latest figures show there were 165.9 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 22 February. That means 436 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that seven day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.