Businesses in Blackburn with Darwen are being encouraged to sign up to free SMART testing to help stop the spread of Coronavirus and help reduce the number of cases in the borough.
For those who aren’t quite sure what SMART testing is, it’s a non-invasive lateral flow test for individuals who are asymptomatic – those who show no signs of having the virus. SMART stands for Systematic, Meaningful, Asymptomatic, Repeated Testing.
Alarmingly, one in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms but are still infectious and so can pass on the virus without knowing it. Regular SMART testing is being offered, supported by Blackburn with Darwen’s testing team, to workplaces in the borough to help prevent and reduce transmission. The earlier a positive case is identified, the sooner steps can be taken to prevent further transmission.
The test involves a swab from the nose and mouth which is done by the employee. These rapid tests – also known as a Lateral Flow Tests – will give results in around thirty minutes as they don’t need to go to a laboratory for testing.
If your business would like to sign up here is a step-by-step guide of what’s involved.
- To sign up, email Tina Simmons in the COVID-19 Response Team at Blackburn with Darwen Council: SMARTtesting@blackburn.gov.uk
- A member of the COVID-19 Response Team will contact you and send you a form to complete. This will outline the number of people who will be trained and tested in the workforce or venue. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure on the numbers, the team will go through this with you.
- A site visit will be arranged with a member of the COVID-19 response team to assess your site suitability and agree the next steps – including a training and support package.
- A date will be agreed when testing will begin. Your trained staff members conduct testing on a weekly basis (ideally every 3-5 days) and a unique site code will be given to your business or venue.
- Meanwhile, the Council will order the initial testing kits and PPE to help keep the community and workforce safe.
All businesses taking part in the local scheme will be supported by a member of the Blackburn with Darwen COVID-19 response team.