More than 40,000 symptom-free tests have been taken by Medway’s critical workers and residents since this new type of testing was launched on 5 December 2020.
One in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms, meaning that someone could be highly infectious without being aware of it.
Medway’s symptom-free testing programme has helped identify 867 people who unknowingly had the virus – they were immediately told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace programme.
Medway launches 5th symptom-free testing centre
On Wednesday, 6 January, Medway Council launched its fifth symptom-free testing centre. Medway Park leisure centre in Gillingham, which is currently closed for sports activities in line with the latest government guidelines, now joins existing testing sites at The Oast in Rainham, Chattenden Community Centre in Hoo, the Deep End in Chatham and Rochester Cathedral. Medway Council has also delivered temporary pop-up testing sites to meet local demand, including in schools and at MEMS Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham.
Critical workers encouraged to take regular symptom-free tests during lockdown
Medway’s symptom-free testing centres are being prioritised for critical workers during the national lockdown. Medway’s critical workers are encouraged to continue booking and taking regular symptom-free COVID-19 tests to help protect them, their families and residents they are supporting during the fight against coronavirus. Medway Council has contacted organisations of critical workers to give them details on how to book a symptom-free test (people without symptoms) and is continuing to encourage those in critical roles to regularly book a test.
New national lockdown - stay at home
The government’s new national lockdown restrictions advise residents to stay at home, unless they need to make an essential journey.
Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms should continue following government and NHS advice and access a test through the national symptomatic testing programme. Book a coronavirus test - for those with symptoms
Reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Medway
James Williams, Director of Public Health at Medway Council, said: “Medway’s symptom-free testing programme has already identified hundreds of people who unknowingly had coronavirus. They were immediately advised to self-isolate, after being sent their results within an hour of taking the quick swab test.
“Our symptom-free testing programme remains especially important for those in critical roles who are working hard in our communities to support residents, whilst the public are asked to stay at home under the new national lockdown restrictions. All critical workers should continue to take regular symptom-free tests to help keep them and the people they are supporting safe.
“We are doing everything we can to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in Medway and beyond, and it is important all residents play their part too and continue to follow the government guidelines.”
Thank you to our critical workers
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Medway’s symptom-free testing centres have facilitated more than 40,000 tests. We have also launched a fifth testing centre this week at Medway Park in Gillingham, whilst the leisure centre is closed due to the current lockdown restrictions, giving our critical workers greater access to a symptom-free test.
“Medway’s critical workers are a vital piece of the jigsaw in our fight against coronavirus; they are providing life-saving and significant roles to help protect Medway’s residents and vulnerable people. Thank you to all of our critical workers who are doing an incredible job. I would encourage all critical workers who live or work in Medway to continue booking your symptom-free COVID-19 test.
“Thank you also to Medway residents who have also endured challenging times and continue to face uncertain times during the new national lockdown. Please continue to follow government guidance to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Medway and see us all return to the things we love doing sooner.”