As efforts to combat the spread of the virus continue, more local testing is being rolled to help identify as many people as possible who have Covid-19 but not the symptoms.
The pan-Sussex Community Testing Programme launches this week as a partnership between West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.
It offers free, rapid lateral flow tests to anyone who isn’t showing signs of Covid-19, who can’t work from home and who can’t access testing via other means.
Anyone over the age of 18 can book a test at a participating pharmacy anywhere in Sussex, or at one of two dedicated testing sites, one at the Moulsecoomb Leisure Centre in Brighton and one at Hove Town Hall.
Further details, including how to book, are available on the West Sussex County Council website www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting
Amanda Jupp, Chair of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “It is encouraging to see the rate of infection fall across West Sussex, but it is still the case that a third of people with Covid-19 may be passing it on without knowing it.
“The ability to test people who need to leave home for work, but who don’t have symptoms, is another important step that will help us return to normal life as soon as possible.
“I’d like to thank our partners in East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council for working with us on launching the pan-Sussex Community Testing Programme, and to the pharmacies who are on board supporting the rollout.”
Dr Tony Hill, Interim Director of Public Health at West Sussex County Council, added: “We know that around one in three people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, so you could be passing the virus on even if you’re feeling fine.
“Symptom-free testing is an additional tool in the fight against the pandemic and keeping West Sussex safe. It will help us to identify more people who have the virus and encourage them and their contacts to self-isolate in order to further protect our friends, families, colleagues and communities. This form of testing is especially important if you have to leave home for work, and you’re unable to access testing by other means.”
More pharmacies will be available across Sussex in the coming weeks, making it even easier to get a test close to where you live or work.
People across West Sussex are urged to continue to ‘act like you have the it’ as the best way to avoid spreading coronavirus, keep West Sussex safe and help us come out of lockdown.
Go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus for further information and support.