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Rapid COVID-19 testing rolled out for asymptomatic Kingston key workers

Rapid COVID-19 testing is being rolled out for asymptomatic frontline key workers across Kingston, the council announced on Friday.

Twice weekly tests are being offered at the borough’s two asymptomatic testing sites: Chessington Sports Centre and Kingston University, to help ensure that key workers can keep working without unknowingly putting others at risk.

Those eligible for tests will include school staff, council staff working in front line services such as adult social care and children’s services, as well as those working in care homes and children’s homes.

Kingston Council’s Director of Public Health Iona Lidington said: “Testing people working in critical roles who are showing no symptoms of COVID-19 to check if they have the virus is key to breaking the chains of transmission and driving down rates of COVID-19 across our borough.

“Regular testing for these essential workers who have to leave home to fulfil their roles will help prevent them unknowingly passing on the virus and make sure they are not putting others at risk. 

“By ensuring these twice-weekly tests are readily available to all critical workers, we can keep our local services running safely, ensuring this is not at the expense of spreading the virus further.”

All essential workers eligible for the new regular, rapid, asymptomatic testing have already been contacted by Kingston Council and more groups are expected to be included in the coming weeks.

The rapid, 30-minute results will be sent to those tested by text, and tests will be carried out in a COVID-secure way.

Those attending tests are expected to follow all prevention measures including wearing a face covering, maintaining a 2m distance and sanitising their hands on arrival at the testing site.

There are also four sites across the borough for testing those who have symptoms, and those showing symptoms must self-isolate and book a test by visiting the NHS website or calling 119.

Kingston Council also offers support for those having to isolate on their website or by calling 020 8547 5000.

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