Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, is encouraging everyone over the age of 16 in Devon to incorporate twice-weekly rapid lateral flow testing into their routine.
We’ve all been doing our bit for Devon since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has played their part, and together we’re edging closer to normality. But it’s important for us to continue keeping each other safe as restrictions across the county are easing. One way you can do this is to Go for the Flow.
One in three people with coronavirus don’t have any symptoms, meaning you may still be infectious, even if you’re feeling well. And even if you’ve been vaccinated, you can still catch and spread the virus. Under these circumstances, the spread is difficult to control.
We want everyone to feel safe when they leave their home, while taking the necessary precautions while out and about. That’s why, to prevent further transmission of the virus, we’re encouraging people over the age of 16 in Devon to include twice-weekly rapid lateral flow testing as part of their routine. It’s free, painless and results are texted or emailed back within the hour.
The last thing any of us wants is for infection rates to begin rising again in Devon. Along with the following of public health guidelines – social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands – rapid lateral flow testing will go a long way in reducing the chances of this happening.
Different to the NHS PCR test, which tests people with symptoms of coronavirus, rapid lateral flow testing is for people who aren’t showing symptoms. With testing currently available in education settings and some workplaces, Devon County Council is expanding its community testing to ensure all adults can play their part in keeping Devon safe.
You can get tested at sites across Devon. You can also collect home testing kits from these sites for anyone over the age of 18. If you’re unable to get to a testing site, you can order lateral flow test kits online or by calling 119 for free. If you do test positive, it’s important not to panic. Make sure you and anyone you live with self-isolates immediately and you book a follow-up NHS PCR test to confirm the result. You can do this online or by calling 119 for free.
While some may dismiss twice-weekly rapid lateral flow testing as an inconvenience, perspective is important; for the sake of a few minutes out of your day, you will be helping to control the spread of the virus and keep Devon safe. Ultimately, testing is key to breaking the chain of coronavirus transmission, minimising the risk of any of us unknowingly spreading it among family, friends and the wider community.
Moreover, many employers across the county will be encouraging their employees to keep workplaces safe by taking regular rapid lateral flow tests.
Case rates throughout Devon remain low, but with restrictions lifting and socialising returning, now is the time to remain vigilant. If we can all participate in regular tests as a part of our routine – like taking the bins out, or popping to the shop – then I’m optimistic about a better summer and a brighter future for us all.
GO FOR THE FLOW. Find out how and where at devon.cc/flow or call 0345 155 1015.