Public Health Dorset, on behalf of BCP and Dorset councils, have set up a rapid asymptomatic testing service, using lateral flow device (LFD) tests, for employees in the county who cannot work from home due to the nature of their role.
As requested by the Government, we prioritised testing capacity. Frontline council workers, businesses, charities and voluntary organisations (employing less than 250 people) who either provide an essential service or support the vulnerable have already been invited to register their interest and have started getting tested.
If your business or organisation fits this set of criteria, it is not too late to register your interest in weekly asymptomatic testing.
So far 349 priority businesses and organisations have started to use the service and are having weekly LFD tests to keep their companies going while also helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 to their colleagues and communities.
One in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms and can therefore spread it without knowing. The aim of asymptomatic testing, through lateral flow devices, is to identify cases quickly and to break the chains of transmission.
We are now asking any business or organisation in Dorset who is open under current COVID-19 government guidelines and employs less than 50 people (including the self-employed) to register their interest in weekly lateral flow device testing. Employees must sign up to six weeks of testing and be tested at one of the sites around the county.
Businesses and organisations must register their interest at www.publichealthdorset.org.uk/your-health/protecting-your-health/dorset-rapid-community-testing.aspx
Any business or organisation with over 50 employees can access testing by registering interest in the Government’s institution-led-testing programme at www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.
Cllr Nicola Greene, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for COVID Resilience and Public Health said: “Thank you to all those businesses and organisations who have already signed up to the Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme. It’s important that we all continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for businesses to protect themselves, their customers and clients.
“I would encourage any businesses or organisations whose staff cannot work from home to book at their nearest available community testing centre as soon as possible. If you’re a business who is eligible and haven’t signed up to be tested yet, please register your interests.’’
Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “Everyone must stay at home as much as possible and work from home if they can. Due to the nature of their work some people are unable to do this so if you can’t work from home and fit the community testing criteria please register for community testing.
“The quicker we can identify COVID-19 cases, the quicker those people can self-isolate and help break the transmission of the virus.”
Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms must keep using the national portal at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. If you have COVID-19 symptoms- a new continuous cough, a high fever, a loss or change of taste, or a loss or change of smell, should self-isolate immediately and not leave home expect for attending your COVID-19 test. Other members of your household and support bubble must also self-isolate.
People who are getting tested as part on the business and organisation community testing must also not turn up to their test if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms. They must self-isolate and get a home test.