Unpaid carers urged to take rapid turnaround COVID-19 test

Photo of the entrance to the COVID-19 community testing centre at Mansfield Town Football Club
COVID-19 community testing centre at Mansfield Town Football Club

Family and friends who care for vulnerable people are being encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 at the rapid turnaround centres in Mansfield.

People who provide childcare bubbles and those whose support bubbles include vulnerable people are also being advised to get regularly tested.

Since rapid result centres opened in January in Nottinghamshire, more than 5,900 tests have been carried out on people without coronavirus symptoms.

Of this figure, 55 people have tested positive - seven at Oak Tree Leisure Centre out of 1158 tests and 20 at Mansfield Town Football Club, out of 1,822 tests.

Infection rates in Mansfield remain above the national average and in the top 25% of local authority areas. 

Data collected from the rapid result centres shows that most people using them are of working age and in employed in jobs which means they cannot work from home such as manufacturing and construction, health and social care and retail.

Mansfield District Council, which is running the centres in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, is now asking adults in child care bubbles and those have vulnerable people in their support bubbles, or who are unpaid carers, to go along and get tested at least once a week.

Cllr Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing, said: "The numbers of  people making use of the centres has been really encouraging in Mansfield, especially among key workers and those who cannot work from home.

"We now want to reach the army of unpaid people who care for elderly parents or that vulnerable friend or neighbour.

"If they go for a test before they make their essential care or support bubble visits, it will help those carers feel so much more confident that they pose less risk to those they are looking after. The same applies to people in child care bubbles.

"This is especially important as infection rates in Mansfield remain among the highest in the country. Getting tested regularly will help to drive down the number of cases in this district and keep more people safe.

“Rapid result community testing helps to drive down case numbers only when used in tandem with other measures so it remains important to follow National Lockdown restrictions and the Hands, Face, Space guidance.”

The rapid turnaround tests, supplied by NHS Test and Trace, are quick and easy and the results can be texted to a mobile phone within 30 to 40 minutes.

Testing is available for asymptomatic individuals aged 18-65 years living or working in the district. No appointments are needed.

Around one in three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Identifying those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly and breaking chains of transmission.

The small number of people who have tested positive for the virus have been advised to self-isolate for ten days.

Self-isolation payments may be available to help people who are affected by not being able to go to work. Details of these can be found on the council website (link opens in new window).

A community hub has been set up by Nottinghamshire County Council to help with day-to-day issues for people self-isolating, such as shopping and dog walking. Details can be found at on the council website (link opens in new window).

The opening hours for the rapid community test centres in Mansfield are:

Oak Tree Leisure Centre: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7am to 3pm. 

One Call Stadium: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am to 7pm and Sundays from 10am to 2pm.

There is free parking at both sites. Please avoid using public transport in case you later test positive. For more information about testing, visit the council website (link opens in new window).

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms of COVID-19 – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should not visit the rapid turnaround test centres but should instead book a test online (link to NHS website opens in new window) or by calling 119.

There is a Local Testing Site (LTS) for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, which is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm at: Mansfield Civic Centre, Chesterfield Road South, NG19 7BH. An appointment must be booked before attending this site for a test.


 

Published: February 11th 2021