10th Apr, 2021

Community testing roll out as Solihull pilot proves a success

MORE community testing for Covid-19 is on the way in Solihull following analysis of the Borough Council’s ‘drop and collect’ testing pilot in Chelmsley Wood.

Now Council Leader says the authority is preparing to roll out more local community testing.

It comes after the death in the last week of 14 residents from coronavirus, despite a steady decline in the infection rate, which currently stands at 195 per 100,000.

“It’s particularly good to see that rates for people over 60, who are most liked to be affected badly by Covid, have also dropped,” said Coun Courts.

“Before the lockdown, cases were accelerating quickly with the number of people with Covid doubling every nine days at the end of October. This explains the pressure our hospitals have been under in the last month.

“We still have some way to go before we can get out of Covid but with a vaccine on the horizon, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Council worked with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership to deliver its ‘drop and collect’ service in Chelmsley Wood.

“We aimed to visit 3,000 people over the two-week period and were able to get to 3,900 properties,” said Coun Courts.

“In all we delivered 3,100 testing kits, of which 1,643 were successfully completed for collection, representing a 53 per cent test return rate – which is very good for a door to door service.

“We also identified a number of people who were asymptomatic and might otherwise not have known they were infectious who were then advised to self-isolate, helping to reduce the spread of the virus.”

The authority is now preparing to extend community testing.

“This will take some time to roll out so in the meantime, we need to do everything we can to stop the virus through testing, self-isolation, social distancing and keeping friends and family safe,” said Coun Courts.

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