Community pharmacies spread across the city now offer rapid symptom-free tests. Collection of home test kits now available from all Southampton City Council sites
Starting Monday 29 March ten community pharmacies in Southampton will offer rapid symptom-free COVID-19 testing on site.
At the same time, the symptom-free testing site at Merryoak Community Centre and the mobile sites operating on a rota between Shirley Baptist Church, Richard Taunton College and Lordshill Centre Car Park, will now offer collection of home test kits.
One in three people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms and so could be passing it to others without knowing. Rapid symptom-free testing will therefore identify cases of COVID-19 which may otherwise not be picked up. It is an important tool in breaking chains of transmission, that will ultimately enable us to save lives and keep the gradual re-opening of the economy on track.
The rapid symptom-free tests are available for:
- People who leave home for work
- People who have contact with children or staff attending early years and school
People are encouraged to test twice-weekly to protect themselves and others, and to keep homes, schools, workplaces and the wider community safe.
This community testing programme works alongside the testing offered by some employers and by secondary schools to their pupils and staff. These schemes are arranged separately.
For a full list of participating pharmacies and to book go to the website: southampton.gov.uk/symptomfreetest
Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council, said:
“Testing is one important tool that we will need to continue to use keep COVID-19 under control, alongside following guidance and continuing to roll out the vaccine. It’s important we do not take our eye off the ball as COVID is still a threat. The expansion of symptom-free testing will help us to identify those people who may not even know they are spreading the virus. I would urge everyone within those eligible groups to make sure they are testing regularly. This includes people that have had a COVID-19 vaccine, as although we know the vaccines are effective in preventing illness, we do not yet know how effective the vaccines are in preventing people from passing on the infection.”
Cyril Siou, Locum Pharmacist at Sangha Pharmacy in Thornhill, said:
“We are delighted to be able to get on board with this rapid testing programme. Community pharmacies have been at the heart of the response to COVID-19. We’ve been supplying vital services and medicines to our communities throughout this really difficult time. Now we are well placed to support our communities and help keep cases low.”