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Details of drop-in mobile Covid-19 test clinic shared with Highland public as agencies team up in response to 'high' levels of infection


By Hector MacKenzie

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Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland director of public health: 'There is still a high level of Covid-19 within the Highlands and minimising spread remains vitally important.' Picture: James Mackenzie.
Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland director of public health: 'There is still a high level of Covid-19 within the Highlands and minimising spread remains vitally important.' Picture: James Mackenzie.

RAMPED-up Covid testing will see drop-in testing for people without symptoms at a major Highland retail park.

The joint initiative by Highland Council and NHS Highland aims to increase the availability of lateral flow device (LFD) tests throughout the region.

As part of this community testing programme, Covid-19 mobile clinics are being deployed throughout the Highland region with staff and volunteers who can assist in administering the test.

The deployment to Inverness "is not due to any particular outbreak in the area", both agencies said.

The mobile testing unit Moves Like Jagger will be available for drop-in LFD testing for anyone without symptoms at Tesco Car Park, Inverness Retail Park, 1A Eastfield Way, Inverness IV2 7GD from Monday to Friday next week.

The timings are:

Monday 10 January 10am-4pm

Tuesday 11 January 9am-4pm

Wednesday 12 January 9am-4pm

Thursday 13 January 9am-4pm

Friday 14 January 9am-3pm

"When dealing with a disease that can be asymptomatic, such as Covid-19, it is necessary to diagnose cases as early as possible to prevent more people becoming infected without realising. The regular taking of LFD tests in our community helps the NHS to find asymptomatic cases and stop the virus spreading.” - Dr Tim Allison

The agencies said in a statement today: "Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests are easy to administer. By taking one regularly, we can help our community, families and friends stay safe and slow down the spread of coronavirus. Tracking down cases of the virus earlier will limit the spread of new variants.

"The process of registration and testing at a mobile testing site takes approximately ten minutes, and no appointment is necessary. You will first be asked to wait outside, before being registered and entering. You will then be escorted to a testing booth, where guidance will be given on how to do the test. After the test is done, guidance will be provided on what to do if the result is negative, positive or unclear.

"Results are usually sent within an hour, though may occasionally take up to 24 hours. Results will be sent by text and/or email so there is no need to stay on-site after a test is done.

"The mobile testing unit will also be operating an LFD Collect service, which makes packs of seven testing kits available for free to the public to be taken away and used at home. If you are visiting a mobile testing unit it is advised to take the opportunity to do a test on-site, before taking a pack home."

If you have been vaccinated, you should still consider getting tested. While vaccines reduce the risk of infection after 14-21 days, people who have been vaccinated could still become infected. No vaccine provides 100 per cent protection against a virus.

Free LFD tests for people without Covid-19 symptoms are also available to collect from pharmacies, and can be sent to your home by visiting nhsinform.scot/testing, or by calling 119.

LFD tests are already provided in some workplaces, including schools. If you do already get tested through your workplace or education setting you should continue to use those routes.

The agencies said: "It’s very important that you report your LFD test result so your contacts can be traced. This helps to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community. At a testing site, your test will be reported for you. To report your result when testing at home, visit nhsinform.scot/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19-report-your-test-result.

"If you receive a positive LFD test result, you must report your result and self-isolate immediately."

Convener of Highland Council, Bill Lobban said: “In Highland, cases of Covid-19 are high. This makes it more important than ever to use LFD tests regularly to make sure we don’t have the virus asymptomatically and to reassure us that we’re keeping each other safe.”

Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health with NHS Highland, said: “There is still a high level of Covid-19 within the Highlands and minimising spread remains vitally important. When dealing with a disease that can be asymptomatic, such as Covid-19, it is necessary to diagnose cases as early as possible to prevent more people becoming infected without realising. The regular taking of LFD tests in our community helps the NHS to find asymptomatic cases and stop the virus spreading.”

The Highland Council and NHS Highland’s community testing programme offers rapid COVID-19 tests for people without symptoms, through the use of mobile testing sites and outreach events. If you do have symptoms, you should not visit a mobile testing site. Instead, you should self-isolate immediately and seek a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Symptoms include new continuous cough, fever, or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

PCR tests for people with COVID-19 symptoms can also be arranged by visiting nhsinform.scot/testing or by calling 119.


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