Half a million symptom free COVID-19 tests have now been carried out at sites across Kent.
Symptom free tests are a vital part of the county’s route out of lockdown as around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms. This means they could be spreading the virus without knowing it.
Out of 500 thousand tests now completed 2,686 positive cases have so far been identified in Kent. These people have been able to act quickly to self-isolate and prevent passing the virus on to others.
Symptom free testing provision will remain across the county until at least the end of June. And, as cases in Kent show a slight increase, it is also advised that everyone who lives and works in the county should now be tested twice a week, whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. This will help to drive down cases and save lives.
“To reach the milestone of testing half a million people in the county is a testament to the amazing staff who run the testing centres, but also to the people of Kent who have so enthusiastically taken part in this testing programme,” said Director of Public Health for Kent, Andrew Scott-Clark.
“COVID-19 has not gone away and remains a very real threat, with an increase in cases in the county this week. Now more than ever, as we are finally allowed to meet family and friends outside and start to enjoy more freedom from lockdown restrictions, twice -weekly symptom free testing continues to be a vital tool in keeping infection rates low.
“I strongly advise that everyone who leaves home for work, and now to socialise outdoors, should take a test twice a week. We still need to monitor cases closely and isolate anyone who is carrying the virus without knowing it.
“I also implore everyone in Kent to be extra vigilant over the Easter weekend. Stick to the guidelines and remember ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air’ at all times.
“I want to thank everyone who has and continues to be tested in Kent, but now is not the time to be complacent or careless. We need to keep going to ensure we can reduce coronavirus infection rates if we are to see restrictions eased further by 12th April.”
As there will be some changes to testing site locations and operating hours in the next few weeks, KCC is advising people to check details carefully before booking a symptom free test.
All sites are closed on Good Friday, Easter Day and Easter Monday but will be open on Easter Saturday.
You can book a symptom free test quickly and easily by visiting our website
If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss or change in taste or smell – you should NOT visit a symptom free testing site and continue to self-isolate.
People who have symptoms of the virus should book a test by visiting the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Meanwhile KCC is running regular surveys to gather feedback from Kent residents as we move into the next phase of the roadmap restrictions. Please visit www.kent.gov.uk/coronavirus and tell us your views.