Community testing could become more ‘routine’ in new year

Testing trials are being carried out in communities in central and western parts of Scotland.

Community testing could become more ‘routine’ in new year Getty Images

Coronavirus testing trials in communities will inform plans to carry out asymptomatic tests “more routinely in the new year”, the First Minister has said.

The scheme is being piloted in a number of locations in central and western parts of Scotland, where Covid rates “continue to be of concern and are higher than the national average”.

Mobile testing units have opened in Alloa in Clackmannanshire, in Dalmarnock and Pollokshields in Glasgow, in Stewarton in East Ayrshire and in Girvan in South Ayrshire.

“The lessons that we learn from these trials will then inform our plans to expand community testing much more extensively and much more routinely early in the new year,” Nicola Sturgeon said at Monday’s coronavirus briefing.

She added: “We do hope that identifying more people who are positive will help us ensure that they are not spreading the virus and that’s why we are currently focusing these trials – these pilot programmes – on areas with high prevalence.

“So if you live in one of these areas, I would encourage you to come forward for testing.

“You give yourself the chance of finding out if you have the virus if you don’t yet have symptoms but you’re also helping that collective effort to try to break the chains of transmission.”

Scotland recorded three deaths of people with coronavirus and 369 positive cases in the past 24 hours.

However, Sturgeon said there had been a “technical issue” with the reporting systems overnight meaning the figures reported may be “slightly lower” than expected.

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