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Dorset Rapid Community Testing

Information about the Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme.

What is the Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme?

Public Health Dorset, on behalf of BCP and Dorset councils, has had funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to set up a Dorset Community Rapid Testing Service to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Rapid tests, or lateral flow device tests, are a vital tool in helping to identify cases of coronavirus we would otherwise not find. With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, rapid lateral flow device tests (LFDs) enable us to find these cases and prevent the spread of infection.

LFDs are easy to use and can give results in 30 minutes, so those who test positive can self-isolate immediately and avoid passing the virus on to others.

How is community testing being done in Dorset?

Asymptomatic testing using lateral flow devices (LFD) has already been rolled out nationally to NHS front line staff, care home staff and residents, domiciliary care workers, schools and some commercial organisations. This has happened in Dorset too.

Locally, rapid testing has also been offered to anyone going out to work who cannot work from home due to the nature of their role (including volunteers)

From Friday 9 April all adults in England have access to twice weekly lateral flow testing.

How can I access rapid testing?

We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone in society to access testing, and take up the offer of twice-weekly rapid testing. Dorset residents can access twice weekly lateral flow testing by choosing one of the following options:

Workplace testing: Thousands of employers are offering testing in the workplace. This includes testing sites, where you can take a supervised test, and workplace collect, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. If your employer offers workplace testing, this is still the best route for you to access rapid tests

A local community test site

Collect your lateral kit from an NHS Test and Trace site: These sites are located are across the country. They currently operate as symptomatic testing sites in the morning and provide an afternoon collect option, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. Use the postcode finder to find your nearest Test and Trace site

Pharmacy Collect – Pharmacies across the country are signing up to offer pharmacy collect. You will be able to go to a participating pharmacy to pick up a free box of tests to use at home. More pharmacies will be signing up over the coming weeks. To find participating pharmacies use the NHS postcode finder.

LFD Direct: For people who can’t access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of tests online or by calling 119, which will then be delivered to your home.

If testing at home, individuals must register their results online at  www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119.

If you receive a positive lateral flow test result you must self-isolate and order a confirmatory PCR test www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Some frequently asked questions about registering your interest in the Dorset Rapid Community Testing programme.