Care home visitors will be tested using lateral flow technology from next week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish Government pledged to expand coronavirus testing to those visiting care home residents last month and a trial has been announced for 15 care homes in five council areas.
Initially, health secretary Jeane Freeman said the testing regime would be rolled out in the new year but the FM said kits will be sent to all care homes by December 14.
She said: “It’s possible that not all homes will be able to make lateral flow tests available before Christmas, so we are also planning to make PCR testing of visitors available when that is necessary after the festive period.”
While lateral flow tests return quicker results, they are vastly less sensitive than the PCR screenings.
The First Minister said that, despite the testing rollout, hygiene measures should remain in place.
Meanwhile an asymptomatic testing site has been established in Renfrewshire.
The site, in Johnstone town hall, is one of five others established in areas with a high prevalence of coronavirus.
Lateral flow technology will be used at this site, the first to deploy the method which returns results much quicker than the usual PCR tests.
However, a positive case will be confirmed using the more traditional testing method.
Sturgeon, speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, said: “The Johnstone site will help some people to find out if they have Covid even if they don’t have symptoms.
“But these testing sites collectively will also provide very useful and valuable information for us as we consider how best to expand community testing in the new year.”
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