Thousands of asymptomatic Leicestershire residents to get Covid test kits

Thousands of residents across Leicestershire are to be tested for coronavirus whether they have symptoms or not.

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 12th November 2020, 4:41 pm
A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up a recent Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-201210-180723001
A sign on Burton Road bridge flagging up a recent Covid-19 test site in Melton EMN-201210-180723001

The county has this afternoon (Thursday) been added to the government’s campaign to expand asymptomatic testing across the country.

Melton borough has seen a spike in new cases in the week to Saturday, with 171 positive tests and an increase of 88 on the previous week.

But it is unclear how high Melton people will be in the pecking order with hotspots in Leicestershire set to be prioritised.

The move to include the county in the mass testing initiative follows productive discussions between Leicestershire County Council and the Department of Health and Social Care.

It means that the government will send the council up to 80,000 kits a week.

Council leader, Nick Rushton, said: “This is good news.

“We’ve had a productive conversation with government leads and are pleased to be included on the list.

“I’m grateful to those MPs who supported our case.

“Like other areas, we want to try every means possible to defeat the virus and enable life to become more normal.

“Given our early application and rates, it was surprising we weren’t named initially but this is a helpful outcome and means we can roll out the tests in hot spot areas.”

County Hall can draw down from the national supply as needed but is looking to have a stock of 10,000 kits at any one time to deploy rapidly.