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Covid testing unit coming to Grantown at the start of next week

By Gavin Musgrove

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Testalot is on its way to Grantown to provide community testing all of next week.
Testalot is on its way to Grantown to provide community testing all of next week.

Rapid Covid-19 community testing will be available in Grantown next week but Highland Council has said it is not in responses to an outbreak of the virus at the town's school.

The tests available will be Lateral Flow Device kits and anyone who thinks they might have Covid or have been identified as a close contact should not visit the site but instead self-isolate and get a PCR test.

Mobile clinics are being deployed in communities throughout the Highland region, with staff and volunteers who can assist in administering the LFD test.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: "The deployment to Grantown is not due to any particular outbreak, but is there to provide further access to testing in an area that has not previously been visited by a mobile Covid clinic.

"The mobile testing unit Testalot will be available for drop-in LFD testing for anyone without symptoms."

The unit will be sited at the Burnfield Car Park for the following periods: Monday 30 August 11am-4pm; Tuesday 31 August 9.30am-4pm; Wednesday 1 September 9.30am-4pm; Thursday 2 September 9.30am-4pm and Friday 3 September 9.30am-2.30pm.

Those who attend a Covid-19 mobile clinic will also have the opportunity to enter a free monthly draw to win an Amazon Kindle e-reader after completing an exit survey.

The winner will be drawn by random at the end of the month.

The council spokesperson said: "The test uses the Lateral Flow Device and is easy to administer. The process of registration and testing takes approximately 10 minutes, and results are usually sent within an hour, though may occasionally take up to 24 hours.

"Results will be sent by text and/or email to those attending, so there is no need to stay on site. Guidance is provided on what to do if a test is negative, positive or unclear.

"By taking a rapid LFD test twice a week, 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.

"Those who have been vaccinated 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 pe cent protection against a virus."

No appointment is necessary to receive an LFD test.

The mobile testing unit will also be operating an LFD collect service.

Highland Council convener and local member Bill Lobban said: “In Highlands we now have three mobile testing units available to travel to identified locations with a team of trained staff to deliver testing for people without symptoms.

"Our mobile units can be deployed wherever needed. If mobile units come to your area we encourage you to make use of the testing facilities as this will enable quick detection of any localised cases of Covid-19.

"It also offers reassurance for anyone concerned about potentially being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.”

Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health with NHS Highland, said: “Many people who have coronavirus have no symptoms, and will be spreading it without realising. By expanding community testing we will be able to identify more cases giving us a better chance of stopping Covid-19 from spreading.

“Testing for those without symptoms, asymptomatic testing, will help us to identify those who are positive but do not have symptoms.

"We can then advise them to self-isolate and therefore prevent spread. Anyone that tests positive with an LFD needs to get a confirmatory PCR test. More testing helps to show us how the virus is spread and will help us reduce risk.”

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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