Rapid turnaround testing coming to Wandsworth for vulnerable residents

Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Wandsworth is one of the first local authorities chosen for the launch of new locally-led, rapid turnaround Coronavirus testing. 

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Following an initial trial in Liverpool, the Government announced yesterday (Nov 10) that a number of selected councils will each receive 10,000 rapid-turnaround ‘lateral flow tests’. This initial batch will then be followed up with a weekly allocation. 

This is part of the Government’s roll-out of testing for the virus amongst targeted groups of people who maybe asymptomatic rather than just people displaying common Coronavirus symptoms.  Asymptomatic refers to when healthy individuals who are infected do not display symptoms.

The aim is to increase weekly testing of people in priority and high-risk groups, such as older people or residents who find it hard to access testing in the usual way. Results can be available in an hour or less using this new type of test.  

Wandsworth will communicate the new system widely once details are finalised.   

Cllr Clare Salier, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said “This new system will enable us to rapidly target people who need the test most and will make the test and trace system much more responsive and robust.  

“We will be able to quickly identify people who need to self-isolate, helping to stop the spread of infection, and can offer support where necessary.” 

The council is now in discussion with the Department of Health to understand how these tests will be rolled out and which vulnerable groups will be targeted.

Local organisations will be contacted directly when the council has clarity on the local approach. Residents are asked not to approach the local authority directly with requests to access testing through this programme. Further details of the rapid testing system will be published on wandsworth.gov.uk when they are available.

The new rapid testing is part of the Government's overall testing strategy. Testing for people who are experiencing symptoms of Covid will continue to provided in the usual way with Sessions available this week in Wandsworth on December 3, 7 , 9, 12, 17, 22, 24 and 30.