Residents will be able to check if they have coronavirus without showing any symptoms as lateral flow test centres open across County Durham.
Durham County Council has launched its Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Community Testing programme, where regular rapid Covid-19 tests are now available for people without symptoms of coronavirus.
Residents who wish to take part in regular testing can book a slot at one of the 14 new LFD sites across the county – including Aycliffe Youth Centre in the town. Walk-in slots are also available.
The tests can be taken at:
• Annfield Plain Library, DH9 8EZ
• Belmont Library, DH1 2AA
• Brandon Library, DH7 8NN
• Chilton Library, DL17 0EX
• Easington Colliery Library, SR8 3PN
• Lanchester Library, DH7 0NT
• Pelton Library, DH2 1HS
• Spennymoor Leisure Centre, DL16 6DB
• Teesdale Hub, DL12 8TD
• Trimdon Library, TS29 6PY
• Willington Library, DL15 0PG
• Wolsingham Library, DL13 3AB
• Woodhouse Close Library, DL14 6JX
Home testing kits can also be ordered for residents who would prefer to take a test from home. These can be delivered to home or collected from the nearest Community Collect site.
All of the above LFD testing sites are registered as Community Collect sites for home testing kits. Local pharmacies have also signed up to become a collection point.
Those who wish to take part in the scheme are encouraged to take a test twice a week. Residents who will be taking their tests at home can take their first test at one of the LFD testing sites, where staff will be on hand to give helpful guidance to feel more confident testing at home.
Residents are also advised to take a test even if they have already received their Covid-19 vaccination.
It is important to still take part in the scheme as those who are vaccinated can still carry and transmit the disease to other people they come into contact with.
Amanda Healy, Durham County Council’s director of public health, said: “One in three people with Covid-19 do not show symptoms.
“LFD testing can help us to identify the positive cases we would otherwise miss due to a person not showing symptoms. Identifying positive cases in people early, and those they have been in close contact with, can significantly reduce transmission of the virus through detection and self-isolation.
“These tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used for asymptomatic testing in the community.
“However, no test is 100 per accurate and there’s still a chance you can be infectious, even if you test negative. This is why, following a negative result, it is important that you still continue to follow all national guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing your hands regularly and meeting people outdoors to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Residents can book an LFD test online at www.bookwhen.com/dcc_testing or by contacting County Durham Together Community Hub on 03000 260 260.
The location of all County Durham LFD sites, opening times and directions to the sites can be found at countydurham.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk.
LFD testing kits can also be collected at Community Collect sites and pharmacies across County Durham. Find the nearest collection point at maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk.
Lastly, a home LFD test kit online can be ordered to be delivered to your home at Gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
Anyone who takes a home test must always register their result at Gov.uk/report-covid19-result.