I welcome the news that Stockport borough is to benefit from the Government’s latest expansion of asymptomatic testing, as part of its Covid Winter Plan.
In the first wave, more than 1.6 million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests will be deployed immediately for use in areas currently in Tier 3 across England – including in Cheadle.
Over 100 local authorities are currently engaged with the programme, which run for a minimum of 6 weeks, with more Tier 3 rollouts due to begin over the coming weeks and into the new year.
Community testing builds on the 1.5 million rapid-turnaround testing kits that have been delivered to 90 local authorities across all levels of tier restrictions, expanding the capacity for asymptomatic testing.
Proactively testing asymptomatic individuals will help identify those who unknowingly have the virus, breaking the chains of transmission in communities where infections are highest and offer a route out for those areas living under the toughest restrictions as we work to keep the virus under control.
With Stepping Hill hospital beginning the roll out of our local immunisation programme this week there is more good news on the horizon.
Stockport Council is one of 67 Local Authorities where community testing programmes will begin as part of the Government's winter Covid plan. These tests will be able to detect asymptomatic cases and lower our transmission rate even further.
I've called for community testing and rapid testing in Parliament and made the case for our area to receive these tests with ministers - our community is working so hard and I strongly welcome this announcement.
We are set to receive thousands of rapid turnaround lateral flow tests which will be able to detect asymptomatic cases and lower our transmission rate even further. This community testing will ultimately help us navigate our way out of Tier 3 restrictions as we lower our level of infections.
Whilst we continue to make fantastic progress on the rollout of a vaccine, we cannot afford to become complacent about the threat of coronavirus, which remains present in our community.
So, Community testing is one of the most powerful tools we have to break the chain of transmission and drive down the infection rate. I would encourage everyone in Cheadle to get tested so together we can keep the virus under control.