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Derry people with Coronavirus symptoms encouraged to book test

Almost all health and social care staff who were off with COVID-19 symptoms have now returned to work

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Frontline workers and their families can avail of coronavirus testing at City of Derry Rugby Club

Local people with Coronavirus symptoms have been advised to avail of a test at City of Derry Rugby Club.

Earlier in the pandemic these tests were limited to frontline workers and their families.

Testing for non-Heath and Social Care essential workers and the general public is currently conducted in a drive-through site at City of Derry Rugby Club on Judges Road.

There are similar test centres at three other locations across the North.

All centres are open 9.30am – 5.30pm, seven days a week.

Mobile testing units are also now in operation in different parts of the country.

As of yesterday, 116,954 people have been tested for the virus throughout Northern Ireland.

In Derry City & Strabane 8,248 people have been tested, returning 212 positive cases.

Nobody has tested positive in the council area for over two weeks.

Everyone over five years of age in Northern Ireland with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible for testing, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

However, the government has said the ‘most vulnerable’ in society must still be prioritised.

“This includes those who are clinically unwell in hospital, Health & Social Care staff, care workers and care home residents with or without symptoms, key workers in sectors other than health and care.

“The number of tests available to the general public will continue to increase in the coming weeks as our testing capacity increases,” a DoH spokesperson said.

The total number of COVID-19 virus antigen tests undertaken to date on Western Trust patients and staff is 15,007.

On June 30, there were 25 Western Trust staff off with COVID-19 related symptoms which is a huge drop from 800 staff who were off work at the start of the pandemic – 300 at Altnagelvin Hospital alone.

The Department of Health was asked what it is doing in terms of testing and contact tracing ahead of an anticipated second wave of Coronavirus cases.

A spokesperson said: “Testing continues to be a vital tool in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and it will help keep people safe.

“Our testing programme is continuing to expand as we continue to rapidly scale up our testing capacity and capability, and in line with emerging evidence.

“The Department has developed a COVID-19 ‘Test, Trace and Protect’ Strategy which sets out the public health approach to minimising COVID-19 transmission in the community in Northern Ireland.

“The key elements of the strategy are testing all people with symptoms of COVID-19, contact tracing, providing information and advice on self-isolation, and support to enable people to self-isolate.”

She added: “For ‘Test, Trace and Protect’ to work, each citizen in Northern Ireland has a very important role to play.

“We must all prepare for the possibility of having to self-isolate and prepare to be tested in order to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. 

“Symptomatic members of the public are therefore encouraged to get tested early - this will be crucial in controlling the spread of the virus.”

For more information on how to book or order a test, visit www.publichealth.hscni.net

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email editor@derrynews.net or editor@derrypost.com at any time.


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