Corby's Covid test centre clicks up its 10,000th swab as cases continue to tumble
The Lodge Park site opened in January when coronavirus cases were spiralling out of control
Corby's rapid Covid-testing centre has racked up more than 10,000 swabs since it opened when cases were spiralling out of control in January.
The Lodge Park site has seen people with no coronavirus pass through 10,799 times for lateral flow device tests — more than double both similar sites in Northampton.
And health chiefs admit the take-up of the community has helped dramatically bring down the number of Covid-19 cases in the former borough.
North Northamptonshire's public health chief Lucy Wightman said: "We have made significant progress all across the county and things are very much on a positive trajectory.
"It demonstrates how people are adhering to regulations, getting tests regularly and taking up offers to be vaccinated when called.
"Anyone who has the disease without showing symptoms could be casually spreading the virus everywhere they go.
"Lateral flow tests help us to identify those people and stop that transmission."
A second site in Corby at Hazelewood Community Centre, opened while cases were still rising at a significant rate, has now been stood down with testing kits available for use at home for a number of pharmacies in the town and via the NHS website.
Corby's Covid-19 weekly case rates were the highest in the UK for most of the first three months of 2021 but have now fallen to 47.1 per 100,000 from a peak of around 1,000.
There were 34 positive tests recorded in the former borough last week compared to close on 500 in January.
Appointments can be booked HERE at seven lateral flow testing sites — the others are in Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough, Rushden, Brackley and Daventry — although a government scheme now allows residents to collect their own kits for use at home from more than 120 pharmacies countywide.
Anyone who does not have symptoms can get regular lateral flow device tests to check if they have coronavirus.
The aim is to identify the one in three people who may be infectious without being aware, in order to reduce spread of the virus.
Rapid testing enables swift action to be taken to protect colleagues and family members of those who test positive with Covid-19 and to reduce any onward risk of transmission.
Although anyone can now get regular testing, those unable to work from home or who regularly visit hospitality or retail settings are urged to get tested on a twice-weekly basis.
Dr Rhosyn Harris, public heath consultant at North and West Northamptonshire councils, said: “In addition to the community testing sites, LFT testing is available in many workplace and education settings.
"Alongside the vaccination roll out, testing provides us with another effective tool in beating the virus.
"Regular testing helps us detect the one in three people who may have the virus without showing symptoms, and support those individuals to self-isolate.
"It is important to note, however, that a negative test result is NOT an absolute guarantee you do not have Covid-19 so you need to carry on thorough and regular hand-washing, maintain two-metre social distancing from those you do not live with and wear face coverings where required."
■ Anyone whose lateral flow test turns positive or those WITH Covid-19 symptoms — a high temperature, new or continuous cough, or loss or change in sense of smell or taste — should click HERE or call 119 to book a PCR swab test.