Bradford residents to be part of coronavirus testing trial - even without symptoms

Those who come into regular contact with the public as part of their jobs are being invited to get regular tests.

Workers who routinely come into day-to-day contact with the public as part of their jobs are being encouraged to have coronavirus tests as part of a new national trial launched in Bradford.

The swab tests are being offered to bus drivers, taxi drivers, security guards and retail staff across the Bradford district, who are showing no symptoms of the virus.

Between Tuesday 14 July and Tuesday 28 July, workers in these job groups will be able to be tested at the new walk-in centre that opened last week in Bradford city centre at Centenary Square.

This will be the first time that people other than key workers, including those working in health and care settings, are being tested for the virus without showing any of its symptoms – such as a high temperature, or a new cough, or a change in sense of taste or smell.

Bradford is one of just four districts to secure funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to take part in the two-week programme, alongside Oldham, Newham and Brent. 

Director of Public Health at Bradford Council, Sarah Muckle, said:

“National evidence shows some groups of professionals are at higher risk as they come into contact with more people.

“These are the workers we are now targeting as part of this trial and we hope as many as possible from four groups take advantage of this testing opportunity.

Leader of Bradford Council, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “We are pleased to be at the forefront of yet another initiative to help contain the spread of coronavirus in our communities and ensure we are free of it faster.”

“Thanks to a lot of hard work, we are seeing our infection rates starting to fall gradually. Yet Bradford district is still experiencing high levels of coronavirus compared to other areas and everyone must remain vigilant.

“Offering tests to people on the front line will give them the confidence to know that they are COVID free and if they aren’t they’ll be able to protect themselves and their friends and colleagues by self-isolating immediately.  As well as safeguarding themselves, they are safeguarding their customers.

Throughout the lockdown, taxi drivers, bus drivers, security guards and retail staff have been doing a brilliant job at keeping the economy moving in Bradford.  I want to thank them for all they are doing but we also have a duty to our key worker heroes to support them to keep healthy and well as they go about their working day."

She added: “Working together in this way plays a key role in lowering the risks of the virus spreading in Bradford district, reduces the threat of a second wave, and removes the possibility of a local lockdown similar to that imposed on Leicester.

“It also helps us to understand more about the virus.”

Workers in the four job groups in the trial can be tested at special sessions held between 6pm - 8pm 7-days-a-week throughout the trial fortnight.

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