Routine Coronavirus testing is now underway at three council-run sites, for those in critical frontline roles and others who cannot work from home.
Police officers and firefighters are regularly using the centres and a number of local businesses have already signed up. Council workers who cannot work at home and were part of the initial pilot phase also continue to be regularly tested.
Businesses in the city who have employees who cannot work from home have been urged to apply for testing, which happens twice a week at one of three locations.
Tracy Harsley, Assistant Director for City Safe, is leading the project. She said: “We used the pilot phase to establish a really efficient service, which we’ve now expanded to provide testing for organisations and businesses.
“We’ve conducted 3,000 tests so far and this will increase next week in-line with our capacity. We know there are more individuals and businesses in the city who qualify for testing. It’s a very quick process using rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), which provide a result in 30 minutes.
“I want to strongly encourage businesses and individuals in key or critical roles who aren’t being tested through any other routes to sign up. We have the capacity, all you need to do is fill out a short form and we’ll do the rest.
“Regular testing within sectors where people still have to be at work and might have a lot of interaction with others can help identify cases without symptoms and stop Coronavirus silently spreading through workplaces and our communities.
“My thanks go to all the staff and volunteers involved in operating the test centres – the difference they are making in our work to minimise spread of Coronavirus is absolutely vital”.
A spokesperson for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “Protecting firefighters during this pandemic is vital as it helps Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) protect communities.
“Access to lateral flow testing at community sites in Hull allows firefighters to continue in their essential roles.
“We would like to thank Hull City Council, the NHS, partner agencies and all volunteers for their efforts, hard work and dedication to keeping people safe.”
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson, Humberside Police, said: “As the Silver Commander for the Humberside Police response to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been enormously grateful to our colleagues in Hull City Council for the opportunity to give our staff access to Lateral Flow Testing in Hull.
“I am even more delighted that this now includes sites other than Endeavour. Humberside Police staff across the force have benefited from the opportunity and we have had a number of positive cases from these LFTs which just goes to show the real value they have in keeping our people, and our communities safe. The fact that the test can be done in minutes is brilliant in being able to keep our emergency services well and at work to serve the public”.
Those who want to sign up for testing simply need to visit the council website http://www.hull.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-advice-and-support/lateral-flow-testing-businesses and fill out a short form. Someone from the testing team will then be in touch. Test centres are open Monday to Friday, but an appointment is essential. Tests cannot be provided on a walk-in basis.
Anyone with any one Coronavirus symptom is entitled to a test and must immediately book one. There are test centres throughout the city, with drive-thru and walk-thru options. If you have any one symptom – a temperature, new continuous cough or food tasting or smelling strange or of nothing – isolate with your household and book now: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.