KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We continue to work hard on planning the asymptomatic testing programme for Kent and welcome the government’s commitment to support us, along with the publication of their community testing prospectus.
The military have agreed to help with the logistical planning of this ‘lateral flow testing’ which is a huge undertaking given the size and complexity of the county. We’re looking forward to the military personnel joining the team tomorrow; we have identified priority sites and now need to plan practically how this testing programme will work.
We will be targeting those people who have the biggest exposure to the virus in the districts with the highest prevalence of COVID-19 first, so that we can begin to bring down the rates quickly in those areas and therefore help the whole of Kent move out of tier 3 as quickly as possible.
We are one of the largest local authorities in the country, so identifying suitable venues and recruiting staff to operate the sites is part of the difficult logistical process that form part of the planning. Once details about site venues and how they will operate are confirmed, we will release more information including advice on how people can book a test.
Testing is still available across every Kent district and there is plenty of capacity so please, if you develop symptoms of coronavirus book a test straight away through https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Asymptomatic testing is a significant undertaking that requires planning and whilst it is an important part of managing the pandemic, it is not the solution and any testing needs to be alongside all the other public health measures such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.
As part of tier 3 restrictions for Kent and Medway from 2nd of December, we also urge the public to follow the guidelines and ensure they limit their social interactions so we can reduce transmission rates further.
For more information on testing and the part you can play to help Protect Kent, go to www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent