Hillingdon Council have announced the opening of the borough’s second community asymptomatic testing site.
From Monday 4 January, residents without symptoms can get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Beck Theatre in Hayes using rapid tests supplied by NHS Test and Trace.
As a result of the sharp rise in coronavirus cases across the capital, the council is working in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to provide more antigen tests to help to protect those most at risk of COVID-19 and slow the spread of infection.
The council is encouraging residents to get tested as around one in three people have COVID-19 without any symptoms and could be spreading the disease without knowing it.
The rapid lateral flow swab tests provide results within an hour and help identify those who unknowingly carry the virus.
It also enables those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate, which can help drive down the R rate locally and save lives.
Hillingdon’s first community testing site opened in December at the council’s Civic Centre in Uxbridge and is offering tests to council employees and their families, and other non-council key workers such as GPs and supermarket staff.
Residents without symptoms can book a test online at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-testing or by calling the council’s Community Hub on 0203 949 5786.
Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Sir Ray Puddifoot, said: “With the significant increase in COVID-19 infection rates across the capital, opening further community testing sites across the borough is a key priority for the council to help drive down the spread of the virus.
“Residents may be carrying COVID-19 unknowingly and passing it on to others. However these rapid tests can quickly identify those who have it and help to break the chain of infection. I encourage residents to book a test – it is quick and easy with results provided within an hour.
“I also encourage residents to continue to follow the current Tier 4 restrictions, which includes staying at home as much as possible, not meeting other people indoors unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble, and keeping a distance from those outside of your household if outdoors.
“We need to continue to act together to do everything we can to keep Hillingdon safe.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “NHS Test and Trace continues to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19. Increased community testing is a vital additional tool at our disposal to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the disease.
“The work of Hillingdon Council in Uxbridge and Hayeswill be essential in driving down transmission rates. I urge all those living in areas where community testing is offered to come forward and get tested.”
The council is working with the DHSC and public health teams to open further community testing sites in the borough and details will be advertised once available.
However, residents with any COVID-19 symptoms (a new, continuous cough, high temperature, or loss or change to sense of smell or taste) should self-isolate and book a test at a local testing site by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119.
For more information about testing and tracing in Hillingdon and the most up to date guidance for residents, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/coronavirus.