News

Community testing to begin in Fife

Published: 05 Feb 2021 14:00

Next asymptomatic test site to open from Wednesday. 

Scotland’s next community testing site for people without COVID-19 symptoms will open in Cowdenbeath, Fife next Wednesday 10 February.

The centre will open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and initially, from 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Four more sites in different areas across Fife will open in the coming weeks.

The sites will provide lateral flow testing, followed by a confirmatory PCR test if the first result is positive. Dedicated support will be available on-site for anyone who needs help to self-isolate as a result, including advice on how to access financial support and food packages.

The Fife site is the first to open since asymptomatic testing was successfully trialled in Johnstone in December. Further proposals for Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, and Grampian have been agreed, and discussions are underway with a number of other boards and local authorities for agreement in the coming days. 

Community testing has continued in the meantime with MTUs deployed since 18 January to provide testing for people with and without symptoms in the following communities: Maybole, Grangemouth, Langholm, West Linton, Sauchie, Denny, and Hawick. Data on the number of people tested and positivity rates at these sites will be published by Public Health Scotland next Wednesday .

Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon said:

“Increased testing in this way will help us find and isolate more cases, by targeting resources with communities where there is high prevalence, helping us to identify more cases of the virus and giving us all a better chance of stopping it from spreading.

“However, a test only tells us if we are positive at the point in time that we are being tested.  It does not mean that we can stop following all of the rules and guidelines which are in place to protect all of us. Testing is only one layer of protection against this virus – all others, including vaccination and the FACTS guidance work to greatest effect when they work together, so it is essential people continue to follow the restrictions currently in place to suppress COVID to the lowest possible level in Scotland.

“This expansion has been made possible as our testing capacity has increased but it could not have happened without the support of our local partners, and everyone involved in Scotland’s testing programme, from diagnostic staff to sample takers, and I want to pay tribute to each and every one of you as we continue to work to suppress this virus together.”

Background

Further information and updates on the Fife Community Testing programme is available at nhsfife.org/communitytesting

People should only attend the community asymptomatic testing sites if they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. Do not attend if you:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms
  • are currently self-isolating because you have been identified as a close contact
  • have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland:

F – Face coverings
A – Avoid crowded places
C – Clean your hands regularly
T – Two metres distance
S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms