Rapid COVID-19 Community Testing Available at Thurso and Wick

Rapid COVID-19 community testing is available at Thurso and Wick from today, Monday 17 May until Friday 21 May.

The community testing programme offers rapid COVID-19 tests for people without symptoms.

The Highland Council and NHS Highland will plan and deliver community testing in the Highlands wherever it is needed, to help people become confident in using the test kits and/or to help manage any local outbreak that may occur.

The mobile testing unit will be available for drop-in testing for anyone without symptoms at:

Thurso Lorry Park

Monday 17 May 1:30pm-4:30pm

Tuesday 18 May 9:30am-4:30pm

Wednesday 19 May 9:30am-4:30pm

Wick Riverside Car Park

Thursday 20th May 9:30am-4:30pm

Friday 21st May 9:30am-3:00pm

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

Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus have no symptoms but can still pass it on without realising it.

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

It also helps to show us how the virus is spread, reducing risks and helping move towards reopening businesses.

If you have been vaccinated, you should still consider getting tested.

While vaccines reduce the risk of infection after 14-21 days, people who have been vaccinated could still become infected. No vaccine provides 100% protection against a virus.

The testing unit is available from 17 – 19 May at Thurso Lorry Park, 2 Riverside Road, Thurso, KW14 8BU, and 20-21 May at Riverside Car Park, Wick, KW1 4EB, and no appointment is necessary.

When you arrive at the mobile testing unit, you will first be asked to wait outside, before entering and being registered.

You will then be escorted to a testing booth.

The test uses the Lateral Flow Device (LFD), is easy to administer and results don’t take long.

Results will be sent by text and/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 now available.

If you already get tested through your workplace or education setting you should continue to use those routes.

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.”

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 119.

If you are asked to self-isolate and you are concerned about the financial impact:

Your employer should be able to assist you

You may be eligible/entitled to statutory sick pay

You may be eligible for the Self-Isolation Support Grant.

The Highland Council can co-ordinate a range of support including collection of your food shopping and prescriptions.

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

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland:

F – Face coverings

A – Avoid crowded places

C – Clean your hands regularly

T – Two metres distance

S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms