Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team
Calderdale Council is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver a new COVID-19 testing programme, as part of a national programme. Lateral Flow Testing brings is an additional tool to support with the control of disease transmission across our community.
The Lateral Flow Test is a clinically validated swab antigen test that does not require a laboratory for processing and can turnaround results within an hour. The test works extremely well in finding cases with high viral load (those who are most infectious) who may not show signs of active infection, and who may unwittingly transmit the disease to colleagues, customers, family and friends. You do not have to have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has, to access this testing programme – it is for those working in more risky environments. It is worth pointing out that although the test works well in finding positive cases, a negative result is not a reliable indicator that you do not have the virus, and you will therefore still need to abide by all regulations and guidance.
In Calderdale we are taking a targeted approach to the rollout of Lateral Flow Testing. We are focusing on people we know carry a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the environments they work in. This is also available to volunteers and staff in the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS):
If you are working/volunteering and meet one of the following criteria, you are eligible for regular testing:
- You are involved in activities which involve meeting people face-to-face indoors. This could include, but is not limited to, providing emergency food or shelter, working in food banks, driving people to medical appointments, providing in-person care, support, social care or therapy.
- You are volunteering to support the vaccination programme, testing programme, pulse oximetry delivery programme or other covid-related tasks.
- You are doing regular tasks for other at-risk people, dog-walking, medication collection, which involve a greater element of risk. One-off volunteer tasks, which involve simply dropping off a parcel on the doorstep isn’t considered to present a high risk.
Calderdale Council’s approach is underpinned by its key objectives:
- Identify undetected disease and break the chain of transmission
- Increase confidence in settings on the principle that it’s a safe place to work
- Protect those at highest risk, and prevent the transmission of disease in high risk settings
- Ensure those who are asked to self-isolate are supported to do so
Eligible people are invited to book an appointment at either of our Testing Stations listed below with appointments available Mon-Fri, 09.00-16.30.
St Johns Health Centre
Todmorden Community College
Appointments must be booked in advance via our online booking platform BOOK HERE
If after taking a Lateral Flow Test a positive result is shown the subject will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, along with household members, in line with government guidelines.
Guidance on support Calderdale Council may be able to offer you to self-isolate can be found HERE
Cliff Dunbavin COVID-19 OPCP Programme Manager Calderdale Council
This information is also available and will be updated online here
All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.