Rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing will soon be available for people without symptoms in South Ayrshire.
The community testing initiative, in partnership with the Scottish Government; NHS Scotland; The Army; and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service aims to drive down local COVID-19 rates and transmission by identifying positive cases more quickly, as people can spread the virus to others before symptoms appear.
Residents who don't have any of the three COVID-19 symptoms (a new and continuous cough; high temperature; loss or change in sense of taste or smell) are encouraged to get tested.
There is no need to book, and testing will be available for a two week period, seven days a week, from Monday 22 February 2021 as follows:
- Prestwick Community Centre, Caerlaverock Road – 10.00am – 7.00pm
This site is only for people without symptoms. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a test in the usual way via nhsinform.scot or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Residents will be tested using lateral flow devices (LFD), which can give people their results in around 45 minutes. Any positive cases will then be confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Those who receive a positive LFD or PCR test result will be asked to self-isolate.
Dedicated support is available to South Ayrshire residents who need to self-isolate, including access to food and financial support. People who need help should call 01292 616101.
Further advice and information on what support is available for people who need to self-isolate is available from nhsinform.scot.
Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon said: "Targeted testing in this way will help us find and isolate more cases, by targeting resources with communities where there is high prevalence, helping us to identify more cases of the virus and giving us all a better chance of stopping it from spreading.
"However, a test only tells us if we are positive at the point in time that we are being tested. It does not mean that we can stop following all of the rules and guidelines which are in place to protect all of us. Testing is only one layer of protection against this virus – all others, including vaccination and the FACTS guidance work to greatest effect when they work together, so it is essential people continue to follow the restrictions currently in place to suppress COVID to the lowest possible level in Scotland.
"This expansion has been made possible as our testing capacity has increased but it could not have happened without the support of our local partners, and everyone involved in Scotland's testing programme, from diagnostic staff to sample takers, and I want to pay tribute to each and every one of you as we continue to work to suppress this virus together."
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Peter Henderson said: "The community testing initiative provides further opportunity for us to break the chain of infection in South Ayrshire.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has worked to bring community testing to Prestwick, and I would urge residents to make the best use of this facility when it opens on Monday 22 February."