Mobile community Covid testing has been made available in East Devon and Exeter from this week as part of a Devon-wide drive to stop the spread of the virus.
Every adult in Devon can now take a rapid, lateral flow test for coronavirus twice a week – through testing centres, workplaces, pharmacies, or home delivery.
Launched this week, mobile community testing has been made available by Devon County Council (DCC) in East Devon at Axminster, Exmouth, Honiton and Seaton, and also in Exeter.
The service will stop in each town, at a specific location, twice a week on pre-arranged days.
A dedicated website, here, gives the locations of the community mobile testing.
The test results are usually available within the hour.
Rapid lateral flow tests are for people who show no symptoms of coronavirus – such as a new and continuous cough, high temperature, or change to their usual sense of taste or smell.
Anyone with these symptoms should immediately self-isolate and arrange a PCR test via the NHS.
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said: “I encourage all residents without symptoms to get tested twice a week.
“There are now many ways to access testing to suit your particular circumstances either through home testing kits or mobile testing units.
“Testing is particularly important if you leave home to work or volunteer, or if you’re a carer for instance.
“If you test positive, you’ll be asked to self-isolate for ten days, and if you’re negative, you can continue your day but must social distance, wear a face covering when indoors in a public space and wash your hands regularly.”
A Devon County Council spokesman said: “Alternatively, people can collect home test kits from any of the council’s mobile testing sites, so that they can take the lateral flow tests at home.
“Staff at the mobile testing sites can show you how to take the test if you’re not sure how to use the test kit.
“Home test kits can also be ordered from the NHS to be delivered to people’s home address, and they are available from NHS testing locations and pharmacies that are part of the Pharmacy Collect scheme.
“Additionally some workplaces are offering testing to their employees either on-site or at home – and if you own a businesses with more than ten employees it is not too late to register.
“Carers, personal assistants and front line social care staff can also order and collect testing kits at the same time as their PPE supplies.”
“Those who leave their home to work or volunteer and come into contact with people in the community, for instance carers and emergency service staff, are particularly encouraged to use the service.”
The county council said regular testing of people who show no symptoms of having coronavirus was ‘essential’ to help stop its spread.
One in three people with Covid-19 are symptomless, so regular testing helps identify those unknowingly carrying the virus.
DCC said those testing negative can carry on day-to-day life, in addition to social distancing, wearing face coverings and regular hand washing.
Anyone with a positive lateral flow test result, meaning the person is likely to have the virus, must self-isolate and to arrange a confirmatory PCR test through the NHS.