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The Highland Times

News From and Around The Highlands of Scotland

New Asymptomatic COVID-19 Community Testing Programme Comes to Inverness City Centre


A new community testing programme offers rapid COVID-19 tests for people without symptoms and will be available in Inverness City Centre from 22 April 2021.

A mobile testing unit will be available for drop-in testing for anyone without symptoms at The Highland Council Headquarters Car Park from 9:30am on Thursday 22 April 2021. 

It is located opposite the current test site for people with symptoms and will be clearly signposted.

Asymptomatic testing means we can identify cases and stop the virus spreading, helping to protect our communities and the NHS.

Many people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and this allows the virus to spread without people realising it.

In partnership, The Highland Council and NHS Highland will plan and deliver community testing in the Highlands wherever it is needed.

Key things to note:

• Not everyone who has coronavirus will have symptoms, so people could be spreading the disease without knowing it.

• Testing for positive cases and encouraging those people to self-isolate means we have a better chance of stopping the virus spreading.

• By getting tested, you can help your community, families and friends stay safe and slow down the spread of coronavirus.

• By getting tested, you can help us move towards reopening businesses.

• More testing helps to show us how the virus is spread and reduce risks.

• Support is available for people who test positive and need to self-isolate.

The Highland Council and NHS Highland identified Inverness City Centre as a suitable location at this time for asymptomatic testing using the Council’s mobile units.

The mobile units are available to be deployed wherever needed across the Highlands.

Convener of The Highland Council, Bill Lobban said:

“In Highland we will have three mobile testing units available to travel to identified locations with a team of trained staff to deliver testing for people without symptoms.

“Our mobile units can be deployed wherever needed. 

“The units are being deployed in Inverness initially for 8 days. 

“If mobile units come to your area we encourage you to make use of the testing facilities as this will enable quick detection of any localised cases of COVID-19. 

“It also offers reassurance for anyone concerned about potentially being an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.”

Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health with NHS Highland, said:

“Many people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms, or mild symptoms, and will be spreading it without realising.

“By expanding community testing we will be able to identify more cases giving us a better chance of stopping COVID-19 from spreading.

“Testing for those without symptoms, asymptomatic testing, will help us to identify those who are positive but do not have symptoms.

“We can then advise them to self-isolate and therefore prevent spread. More testing helps to show us how the virus is spread and will help us reduce risk.”

The testing unit will be available from Thursday 22 April – Saturday 24 April and for a further five days Monday 26 April – Friday 30 April at The Highland Council, Headquarters Car Park, Inverness IV3 5PB. 

Opening hours are 9:30am – 5:00pm and no appointment is necessary.

The test uses the Lateral Flow Device (LFD), is easy to administer and results don’t take long.  Results will be sent by text or email to those attending so there is no need to stay on site. Guidance is provided on what to do if a test is negative, positive or unclear.

The LFD test is used in some workplaces already, including schools.

The Government announced LFD testing as a universal service and guidance on how people can access that is expected by the 26 April 2021.

People who have COVID-19 symptoms – new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste should not attend asymptomatic testing sites, nor should those who are currently self-isolating because they have been identified as a close contact, or those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

Tests for people with COVID-19 symptoms can be arranged by visiting nhsinform.scot or by calling 0300 303 2713.

For those requiring to self-isolate, the Highland Council can co-ordinate a range of support including collection of your food shopping and prescriptions, and if you will lose income as a result of self-isolating, you may also be eligible for a £500 self-isolation support grant.

More information is available by contacting the Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0300 303 1362.

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