Trafford Council is asking businesses to report positive Covid-19 cases to them as testing is rolled out to more organisations by central government.
Businesses in England with more than 50 members of staff can now set up their own Covid-19 testing.
Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. This expansion of testing will find more positive cases, preventing workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus.
Businesses who sign up are offered lateral flow tests (LFTs). LFTs give a result in 30 minutes, without the need for the test to be sent to a lab for analysis.
Lateral flow tests should be used by businesses to test staff at least twice a week. This is because LFTs can produce ‘false negative’ results so regular testing reduces the impact of false negatives.
Trafford Council’s public health team has been supporting businesses over the past year with all aspects of Covid-19. During 2021, the Council has been assisted by the military in setting up testing in the borough including lateral flow testing in workplaces.
Secondary school staff in Trafford can get tested at work and primary school staff can access tests to use at home. Key frontline health workers are also offered at-home tests and care homes can offer tests to staff, residents and visitors.
Now more and more businesses, like University Academy 92, are setting up their own testing for their staff.
Gareth Smith, director of student affairs at University Academy 92, said:
“UA92 has hugely appreciated the support provided by the Trafford Council Public Health Team throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The training our staff have received to enable us to conduct Lateral Flow Device testing was both well co-ordinated and expertly delivered. The training team were exceptionally accommodating and knowledgeable. This support has enabled us to continue to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students and staff by testing all students when they return to campus.”
Trafford’s Director of Public Health, Eleanor Roaf, says testing is another useful tool for businesses but it should be used with caution. She said:
“Lateral flow tests are an excellent way of stopping transmission in the workplace but it is not a substitute for everything our businesses have been working so hard on for nearly a year. Every business must continue to operate in a Covid-secure way with risk assessments and safety measures constantly under review.
“It is really important that businesses tell us if they have any positive cases in staff who have been attending work. There are no punishments, we will be able to help you identify any workplace transmission and prevent outbreaks from happening. “Lateral flow tests should only be used for staff who have to come into work. People who can work from home should be encouraged to do so, as our rates across Greater Manchester are still high.”
If you need to report a positive Covid-19 case in your workplace to Trafford Council’s public health team please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a business with over 50 employees and would like to set up lateral flow testing for your staff visit www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.
If you have questions about workplace testing in Trafford email Covid19Testing@trafford.gov.uk.
Posted on Thursday 18th February 2021