Council supports drive on rapid testing for businesses

Published Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 14:22

Blackburn with Darwen Council is backing a new Government coronavirus testing drive aimed at businesses.

The Government is aiming to increase workplace testing in sectors still permitted to open during lockdown, to detect Covid-19 in staff who are not currently showing symptoms

The Council has already launched a successful SMART programme for rapid testing aimed at residents without symptoms who have to leave home to work or live near the various testing hubs that have been set up.

The SMART programme is also available to businesses, with local firms encouraged to sign up to free testing to help protect their employees and stop the spread of Coronavirus,  reducing the number of cases in the borough. The earlier a positive case is identified, the sooner steps can be taken to prevent further transmission.

SMART testing is a non-invasive lateral flow test for individuals who are asymptomatic – those who show no signs of having the virus. It is an easy test to do, involving a swab from the mouth and nose and the results are available in just 30 minutes as they don’t need to go to the lab. Blackburn with Darwen’s testing team provide on-site training and support as well as testing kits and necessary PPE.

 Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

Rapid workplace testing for those without symptoms is another vitally important step in us getting on top of this virus once and for all. So my message to businesses is this is a national call from Government but locally there is a strong local offer with additional support they can use and so I would encourage more firms to come forward. Alarmingly, one in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms but are still infectious and so can pass on the virus without knowing it.

If your business would like to sign up here is a step-by-step guide of what’s involved:

1) To sign up with Blackburn with Darwen Council:

2) A member of the testing team will contact you and send you a form to complete. This will outline the number of people who will be trained and tested in the workforce or venue. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure on the numbers, the team will go through this with you.

3) A site visit will be arranged with a member of the team to assess your site suitability and agree the next steps – including the training and support package.

4) A date will be agreed when testing will begin. Your trained staff members conduct testing on a weekly basis (ideally every 3-5 days) and a unique site code will be given to your business or venue and information of how to report testing numbers and results.

5) Meanwhile, we will order the initial testing kits and PPE to help keep the workforce safe (stock can be re-ordered monthly).

6) All businesses taking part in the local scheme will be supported by a member of the Blackburn with Darwen testing team.

More information on workplace testing.

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