Following the success of Covid-19 testing trials in Thurso and Lochgilphead fire stations, the Scottish Government has expanded access to a further 21 stations in rural areas of Scotland.
The areas which are to benefit from more convenient access to testing include: Dornoch, Ullapool, Portree, Broadford, Fort William, Kingussie, Grantown-on-Spey, Fort Augustus, Acharacle, Lochcarron, Gairloch, Lairg, Tongue, Rothesay, Tarbert (Loch Fyne), Cove (Loch Long), Arrochar, Dunoon, Campbeltown.
Welcoming the move, Highlands & Islands MSP Maree Todd (pictured) said:
“This expansion is a significant step forward in improving rural access to Covid-19 testing.
“I’m pleased to see so many of the remote areas I represent included in the latest expansion.
“This will make a huge difference to my constituents who would otherwise have to travel to access a test.
“We know how vital testing is in identifying clusters and local outbreaks, so convenient access to testing plays a crucial role in ensuring those with symptoms come forward for a test.
“This will be important as we move forward out of this lockdown.
“A massive thank you to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Highland, the Highland Council and Argyll & Bute Council for their support in rolling this out.”
People within driving or walking distance of these locations who have COVID symptoms will be able to book a test slot at the stations by calling NHS Highland on 01463 706015.
The typical symptoms of COVID-19 are:
A new continuous cough and/or
A high temperature or fever
A loss of, or change, in normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
However, people with COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat and cold-like symptoms.
Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a test.