People queuing for tests at Wavertree Tennis Centre
Liverpool City Council has thanked people for getting tested over the festive period.
Figures show that from Monday 7 until Tuesday 29 December, 76,789 people took part in Liverpool’s SMART Testing programme which is aimed at asymptomatic people who may be carrying the virus unknowingly.
The city’s Acting Mayor Councillor Wendy Simon and Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health have praised the responsibility shown by residents and visitors, declaring the programme a success with 853 people testing positive who may otherwise have mixed with family or friends on Christmas Day and unwittingly spread the disease.
Figures from this period also show:
- From 22-27 December, almost half of all new infections among Liverpool residents were picked up by the SMART lateral flow testing.
- December 23 had Liverpool’s highest test centre footfall with 9,926 people tested in one day.
- The most popular site was Wavertree Tennis Centre, closely followed by the Liverpool ONE unit.
- Over this period, Liverpool’s SMART Testing saw increasing of those in the 18-29 demographic, which was previously classed as a ‘hard to reach’ category.
- The 30—49 year old demographic is the age range most frequently getting tested.
Councillor Simon said: “We were the first city to pilot the lateral flow tests back in November and I’m proud that months on, there is still the demand and enthusiasm for people to get tested.
“We are incredibly lucky to have these testing facilities in Liverpool – they are undoubtedly game-changing and are essential in our fight against this virus.
“As we head in to 2021, I urge people to continue to make the most of Liverpool’s SMART Testing and help keep this city, and everyone in it, safe.”
Matt Ashton said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has got behind the city’s SMART Testing and showed up in their thousands to take a test to protect themselves and the ones they love.
“At times there were long queues, but people waited patiently, united in the knowledge that they were helping to make a real difference to us tackling the pandemic.
“I’d also like to thank our amazing teams working at each site who have really gone above and beyond with smiles on their faces, putting people at ease throughout this really busy and critical time.”
Professor Iain Buchan from the University of Liverpool who led on a report into the findings of the impact of community testing in Liverpool said: “This people powered protection against Covid-19 will be an important tool for helping our city recover quickly over the coming months while the vaccination is rolling out. Liverpool’s public spirit and public health service are leading the way for the UK in Covid testing.”
There are currently nine test centres across the city which are aimed at people who are not experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19. These centres offer a Lateral Flow Test which is a simple swab-test which will give results in under an hour. Details can be found at Symptom-free testing – Liverpool City Council
People with symptoms of Covid-19 – a continuous cough, high temperature or changes to sense of taste and smell, should continue to book a test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Anybody who tests positive for Covid19, or who is a close contact of a positive case, should self-isolate for ten days.
Read the interim report in to the community testing pilot here.