Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to set up Covid testing centres for staff
Covid testing is to be made available to staff members of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and councillors.
A testing centre is to be set up at Mossley Mill and Antrim Civic Centre for lateral flow tests to be carried out three days a week with testing expected to be available by the end of May.
A drop-in service will be operated and will be reviewed according to demand, a report to the borough council has stated.
Lateral flow tests are for use by those without Covid symptoms. These have been made available to post-primary school staff and pupils in Years 12-14 in Northern Ireland.
The purpose of the tests is to detect those who are infectious but have no symptoms.
The Department of Health states that around one in three people who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading the disease without knowing it.
Participants are required to carry out a nose and throat swab test themselves.
The Department of Health also says: “Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly and thus assisting in breaking chains of transmission of infection.”
Health Minister Robin Swann has said: “This testing is important as an additional measure alongside the range of existing safety measures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and pupils in schools.
“My Department is continuing to work with partners in government and industry on further expansion of our programme of regular asymptomatic testing which, alongside our vaccination and contact tracing programmes, will help balance the scales in our favour of success in the battle against Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, the vaccine programme in Northern Ireland has fully opened for those aged 35 to 39.
Anyone born between 01/04/81 and 30/04/86 can book an appointment at a regional vaccination centre or participating community pharmacy.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
Click here to read: Whiteabbey Nightingale stands down Covid-19 rehabilitation
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