Fife is to become one of the first areas in Scotland to roll out an asymptomatic community testing programme aimed at identifying positive Covid-19 cases and breaking chains of transmission.
NHS Fife and Fife Council have confirmed they will soon begin the phased roll out of the new programme which will offer testing for members of the public who have no symptoms associated with Covid-19, but who may be infectious and spreading the disease without knowing it.
Community testing in Fife will take a targeted approach, focusing on communities where there is a testing need or sustained transmission, using the most up-to-date data.
The phased roll out of pop-up testing sites will begin in early February, with additional mobile testing also undertaken to provide a dynamic response to outbreaks and ensure local populations have easy access to testing.
Waste water testing will also be used to identify hotspots of transmission.
The new community testing programme is just part of ongoing, wider, asymptomatic national testing, which already includes the testing of health and social care workers and students.
Carol Potter, chief executive of NHS Fife, said: “This is an important expansion of testing which aims to help reduce Covid-19 rates in Fife, by identifying those who are positive cases but show no symptoms.
“Through early detection, we can reduce transmission within local areas, helping to protect our families, friends and our communities, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
“By engaging closely with our communities, we can also provide the support that individuals and families may need following testing.”
Steve Grimmond, chief executive of Fife Council, added: “I’m really pleased Fife has been chosen as one of the first areas in Scotland to carry out asymptomatic community testing.
“Working in partnership with NHS Fife and with Scottish Government funding we have set out an ambitious plan that we’ll be rolling out in phases over the coming weeks and months.
“The programme will focus on local need and supporting local communities through difficult peaks in infection.
“We’ll continue to work together, along with Fife Voluntary Action and other community partners, to make sure that households get the all the practical help and advice they need to isolate safely, if they’re required to do so. “
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