Northamptonshire Police offered lateral flow testing for Covid-19
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Police officers and staff in Northamptonshire are some of the first in the country to be offered lateral flow testing for Covid-19.
Working in partnership with Public Health Northamptonshire, the Force launched a pilot to trial the testing of front line officers and staff this week.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, said: "By the very nature of their jobs, our police officers and staff come into close contact with members of the public, and although they are taking every precaution possible, at times it is impossible for social distancing to take place.
“Public Health Northamptonshire offered us the opportunity to roll out the use of lateral flow tests within Force and it makes sense that we would do all we can to help our staff and the public stay as safe as possible.
“These tests are really useful for identifying those who are most infectious. We know that a third of people with Covid-19 don't display any symptoms, so it is hoped these tests will enable us to identify those people working for us so they can self-isolate and prevent the virus from spreading to colleagues, loved ones and the public.”
Police officers and staff working at the Northern Accommodation Hub in Kettering were offered the test on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
On the first day of testing no officers or staff tested positive. Further testing continues today and it is hoped the use of the tests will be expanded across the Force once the trial has concluded.
Dr Rhosyn Harris, Consultant in Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Asymptomatic testing (testing people without symptoms) enables us to find the ‘one in three’ people who may carry the virus with no symptoms, who may otherwise spread the virus to family members and colleagues, impacting both on workforce capacity in vital services, and potentially spreading the virus to someone vulnerable.”