Arenewed call is being made to private businesses in Liverpool with more than 50 staff to order and use Government Covid-19 test kits for employees in the workplace.
Liverpool City Council is now offering low-cost training and support to help show firms how to use the kits.
It is advised that people going into work should get tested every five to seven days, as up to a third of those with the virus don’t have symptoms.
Getting staff tested regularly using the lateral flow kits helps reduce the spread of coronavirus and the chances of disruption to businesses as a result of staff falling ill or having to self-isolate.
More information and an online application form for the Covid tests is at https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests
Companies can register to order tests to deliver at their work sites if:
- The business is registered in England
- They employ 50 people or more
- Their employees cannot work from home
Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, said: “The quickest way to get out and stay out of the current lockdown is to keep infection rates as low as possible.
“We fully appreciate that there are some jobs where people can’t work from home and need to go into the workplace or office. In these circumstance it is really important that people get tested on a regular basis so they can be sure they are not infectious and spreading the virus to colleagues or people in their household.
“Our work on the Covid testing programme means we have a lot of experience of in administering the tests, so we are able to offer low-cost training for companies who need help and support in carrying out the tests
“Through all sectors working together we can help reduce the spread of Covid in the city and get back to business as usual more quickly.”
The move will also help manage demand at the city’s network of symptom-free test centres ensuring those in smaller businesses delivering valued services in our communities are able to access testing as well.
Companies wanting to access training and support – which costs from £250 – £500 for up to 12 staff – should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my employees use the city’s non-symptom testing centres?
Liverpool City Council currently have SMART non-symptom test sites across the city for use by the general public. Our sites are currently primarily for key workers. Businesses of over 50 employees are encouraged to set up their own Testing facility for their employees.
What type of tests are being used?
Lateral flow tests (LFTs) are rapid turnaround tests that are processed at source (i.e. on your site) without any need for sending samples to a laboratory. Staff can receive training to carry out the processing themselves. Results are ready very quickly – from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Results are received by text or email.
How do I register for a Government Business Covid Testing Support pack?
More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests. Once registered, pack will include instructions on how store, administer and dispose of the LFT tests as well as test kits and associated PPE.
Does Liverpool City Council offer any support to Businesses with LFT Testing?
Yes. We are offering optional support by way of additional Training and Quality Assurance (QA) activity to allow businesses to benefit from the experience that LCC have gained in the delivery of the SMART Testing project since December 2020. This training is offered to increase confidence and provide support to business staff that will deliver the LFT testing activity. Training sessions are in groups of up to 12 attendees. A fee of £250 – £500 per training group will apply dependant on training location. If you are interested in receiving more information about this additional guidance, please email: email@example.com
Do my employees have to have a test?
Absolutely not. Testing is completely optional. It is hoped that people will recognise the benefits of being tested to reduce the spread of the virus. Tests would be available to all employees. Employees under 18 will need parental consent.
What happens if an employee tests positive?
You will receive your result from NHS Test and Trace, via text message and email. If you test positive using a ‘lateral flow’ test you must self-isolate and book a PCR test to confirm if you are infected with the virus – the message you receive won’t automatically advise you to do this. You can do this at Liverpool CCG – Confirmatory-Pcr-Test. This is because there is a possibility that some people who test positive with LFT are ‘false positive’ and the gold standard PCR test will identify these. If the confirmatory PCR test result is negative, then you will no longer be required to self-isolate, and your contacts will no longer need to quarantine. You will still need to adhere to the national restrictions in place at that time e.g. lockdown restrictions.
If the confirmatory PCR test comes back positive, then you must continue to isolate for 10 days since your initial ‘lateral flow’ test. Everyone in your household will be a ‘close contact’ and must also self-isolate for 14 days. Contact tracing will be initiated through the NHS or local contact tracing team and other close contacts will be advised to quarantine for 14 days.
What happens if I test negative?
You will continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus.
How does it work with the NHS Test and Trace app?
Positive results from tests will be collected by NHS Test and Trace and published as part of the daily case numbers, including how many positive cases are detected with this method of testing. NHS Covid-19 app users should input their results into the app.