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A recent expansion of COVID-19 testing in Fife means that home testing kits for those without symptoms can now be collected from more than 60 locations across the Kingdom, including many local high street pharmacies.

Testing for COVID-19 has been a crucial part of slowing the spread of the virus since the start of the pandemic, helping to identify those carrying COVID-19 and preventing the virus from being spread to others.

Around one in three people who become infected with COVID-19 may not feel unwell, but can still spread the virus without knowing it. If people test positive and self isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

People working in health and social care, teachers, students in secondary and further education, and those in certain workplaces have already been taking part in regular home testing for many months.

Earlier this year the Scottish Government announced the introduction of free home test kits for everyone in Scotland. While access to kits was initially available online or by phone, an expansion in testing provision means that lateral flow test kits can now also be collected free of charge from more than 60 collection sites across Fife – including testing sites and many high street pharmacies. To find your nearest collection site, visit: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/. Alternatively, home testing kits can be ordered and delivered directly to your home by visiting: www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests;

All adults without symptoms can collect one box of lateral flow tests for each member of their household. Each box contains seven tests, allowing someone to test themselves twice weekly over three weeks. The tests are quick and simple to use, giving results in 30 minutes. Instructions on how to use the test and report the results are inside the box.

If you receive a positive result, you will be required to self-isolate and arrange a further PCR test at a testing site to confirm. A range of welfare support is available including financial support, food and medication delivery, and help with some caring responsibilities. For more information on the support available, visit: www.fife.gov.uk/covidassistance.

Dr Duncan Fortescue-Webb is a Consultant in Public Health and is the lead for COVID-19 testing in Fife. Dr Fortescue-Webb said:

“Testing is a vital part of the response to COVID-19 – both when we do have symptoms and when we don’t.

“Many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms at all and could be spreading the virus to loved ones, friends and colleagues without knowing it.

“We are urging everyone across Fife without symptoms use home testing kits collected from a site near to them, or ordered online for delivery to their home. Through regular testing we can identify people who don’t know they’re carrying the virus, support them to isolate quickly, and prevent the onward spread. This helps keep our communities safe and reduces the chances of further restrictions.

“It is important that people who carry out home testing report their results, regardless of whether these are positive or negative. This helps us to identify areas where cases of COVID-19 are rising and declining so we can all keep each other safe.

“For those who would like some extra support with how to take and report a test, a number of community testing sites are available across Fife, with friendly staff available on-site to guide you throughout.”

Full details of current community testing sites and their opening times are available at www.nhsfife.org/communitytesting.

 

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