NHS Fife has opened an additional community testing site for people without Covid-19 symptoms, bolstering its fight against the virus.
The new facility has opened at Chapel Neighbourhood Centre in Kirkcaldy, joining Glebe Centre, also in the town, and the Maxwell Centre in Cowdenbeath.
The sites provide testing for anyone who shows no symptoms associated with Covid-19 but who could be infectious and spreading the virus unknowingly.
Josie Murray, NHS Fife consultant in public health and health protection clinical lead, said: “Even at this early stage of the programme, we are seeing people without symptoms testing positive for Covid-19.
“By getting tested at a local centre, you can find out if you are positive even when you don’t have symptoms and take immediate action to stop the spread of the virus.
“If we can find and isolate more positive cases, that will help us in reducing the spread of Covid-19 to others, and help us to protect our family, friends and the wider community.”
The Chapel Neighbourhood Centre will initially open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, though operating times may also be amended to meet demand.
Testing at all community sites is available to anyone without symptoms who lives in the north Kirkcaldy area and will operate on a drop-in basis, without requiring an appointment.
Nigel Kerr, Fife Council head of protective services, said: “This kind of mass community testing provides invaluable information to the NHS and the Scottish Government and can help them when they are making decisions on lockdown restrictions.
“Of course, anyone who tests positive will be asked to self-isolate, and we know that can be really difficult for some people – physically, mentally but, more often than not, financially.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to have family, friends or good neighbours nearby who can help with things like getting groceries or picking up prescriptions.
“Some people are only a week’s wages away from absolute poverty and can’t afford not to work.
“We don’t want these things to be a barrier to people getting tested. We have staff on site who can speak in confidence and provide support.”
NHS Fife has stressed, however, that anyone experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, has tested positive within the last 90 days or is self-isolating after being identified as a close contact, should not attend any of the testing centres.
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