Portsmouth City Council has launched a mobile team to rove the city bringing free Covid-19 home test kits closer to residents for easier pick up.
The test kits are free for all adults to encourage everyone to take up the habit of regular twice-weekly covid testing. Asymptomatic testing helps identify the one in three people who test positive for the virus but who show no symptoms and can unknowingly spread the infection. Those taking tests are encouraged to record and report results to help track the spread of the virus.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, says: “We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus infection in our city. This latest move to provide a mobile service to help ensure everyone can get the test kits they need to keep themselves and others safe is just one of many things we’ve done to ensure no one gets left out during the pandemic.
“I’ve taken up the habit of testing twice a week and recording my results, so I can say to all residents, testing – along with getting vaccinated – will give you the confidence to cautiously get back to some of the things that have been on hold for the last year.”
Helen Atkinson, Director of Public Health Portsmouth City Council, says: “This type of testing – asymptomatic testing – is vital to help reduce the spread of infection as it finds those with the virus who don’t show symptoms, and so alerts them to self-isolate. Testing if you have symptoms as well as when you don’t is a vital way to help keep our infection rate as low as possible. As the vaccination programme is still rolling out, and nationally we are seeing an increase in cases of the new variant first identified in India, we must do all we can to reduce the virus spreading in our community.
“You only need to test twice-weekly when you don’t have symptoms, so picking a time and place that suits you, couldn’t be easier. The first time you collect home test kits, staff will be able to show you how to use them and how to record and upload your results. Regular testing will help us monitor where the infection is spreading in the community. Keep your eye on the council’s social media for the selected locations so you can pick up your home test kit from our mobile team as they visit an area near you.”
Asymptomatic home test kit Mobile Team – locations, dates and time
Morrisons, Victory Retail Park: Wednesday 9 June, 9 am-7 pm
Portsmouth Central Market: Thursday 10 June, 10 am-2 pm
Asda, Fratton: Friday 11 June, 9 am-7 pm
(More locations to follow – locations and timings will be shared on the council’s social media)
Free asymptomatic testing is available to all in several ways
- Supervised tests at a testing venue, book an appointment online
- Collecting home test kits from a participating distribution venue. Find your nearest collection point
- By ordering postal home test kits online
- By collecting test kits from the mobile team – find out where the locations by following the council’s on social media.
What to do after taking a home asymptomatic test
- Testing should be done twice a week
- Record your result online or by phone. Instructions on how to do this are included in the test kit.
- If the result is positive: you and your household must self-isolate, and you must book a confirmatory PCR test.
- If the test is negative: continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic testing and follow ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ guidance.
- Step-by-step instructions are included with the test kit. A video demonstration and alternative language versions are available online. You can also call 119 and request a translation service.
More about asymptomatic testing: https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/community-testing