Aberdeenshire mobile testing and community collect programme to cease after April 14

Aberdeenshire Council will cease its Covid mobile testing and community collect programme at close of play on Thursday, April 14.

By Dawn Renton
Monday, 28th March 2022, 1:26 pm
Covid mobile testing and community collect programme will end on April 14.

The decision comes following the recent Scottish Government announcement confirming that people without Covid symptoms will no longer be asked to take regular lateral flow tests from Monday April 18.

The programme will end on the previous Thursday (as Friday 15th is a public holiday).

It forms part of the Test and Protect Transition Plan which sets out how testing will become more targeted, with the aim of reducing serious harm from Covid.

The changes to Test and Protect mean that from April 18:

Most people without symptoms will no longer be asked to take Covid tests

Free lateral flow devices (LFDs) for the purposes of twice weekly routine testing will no longer be available for the general population given the changing advice, but will continue to be free for any purpose for which testing continues to be advised – for clinical care, for health and social care workers and for people visiting vulnerable individuals in care homes or hospitals

Until the end of April, people with symptoms should still isolate and get a PCR test

Vaccinated close contacts of someone with Covid should continue to test daily for seven days with LFDs

People who have symptoms of Covid will still be able to book PCR tests in the usual way up until April 30 however from that date onwards, test sites will close and people with symptoms will no longer be advised that they need to seek a test.

The public health advice for people who feel unwell will be to stay at home until they feel better, to reduce the risk of infecting other people.

The operation throughout Aberdeenshire have been tremendously well-received:

200,000 kits issued

40,000 kits given out by communities themselves

5,500 observed tests undertaken

In addition to operating pop-up test centres, the council converted three mobile library vehicles to enable residents to undertake lateral flow tests safely in their own communities without the need for lengthy travel.

The service also enabled us to pro-actively respond to areas which had experienced increases in detected Covid cases.

Ritchie Johnson, director of Business Services, said: “On behalf of Aberdeenshire Council I would like to thank all those staff who have supported community testing – both at the initial Peterhead Test Centre launched in February last year and laterally on the wider region-wide programme.

"By testing those without symptoms and by encouraging a strong take-up of lateral flow kits, you have ensured Aberdeenshire’s communities remained vigilant and safe.

“And I would also thank all our partners including NHS Grampian, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, local businesses and, of course, all those residents who made every effort to keep both themselves, their families, colleagues and others safe during the pandemic by visiting our centres, taking the tests and collecting kits.”