From Monday 26 October Solihull Council will be providing a pilot ‘Drop and Collect Test’ service in and around the north of the borough, specifically in the Chelmsley Wood area, close to Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre.
The pilot will see volunteers going door to door to a number of households, to offer a Covid-19 test to anyone over the age of 2. The service will run for 10 working days (Mon-Fri) until Friday 6 November and the aim is to provide quick access to testing for these residents, who do not currently have a testing unit nearby.
Residents are encouraged to take the test whether they have symptoms or not. This will help us to understand how Covid-19 is spreading locally and is in response to higher rates of Covid-19 in this part of the borough.
After completing their test, residents will be told that a volunteer will return within the hour to collect their sealed tests from them. These tests will then be sent onto the laboratory for analysis and the results will be sent directly to residents.
Trained and accredited volunteers have been recruited from The Voluntary and Community Emergencies Sector Partnership (VCSEP) which is working in partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care to deliver this local testing pilot scheme. They will be easy to spot by their Covid-19 Support Officer hi-vis jackets and will have two forms of ID confirming they are doing this work on behalf of the Council.
Residents can contact the Council’s Contact Centre on 0121 704 8001 to confirm if a volunteer is genuine.
Vulnerable residents who are already in receipt of nursing or adult and social care services, will not be contacted as part of this service, instead they will be offered a test through their existing services and the community testing team.
Residents who have symptoms (high temperature, a new, continuous cough, loss of sense in taste and/ or smell), whether they live in the north of the borough or not, are still able to book a test via the national NHS booking system or by calling 119 if they need it.
Cllr Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, has said:
“We all have our part to play in reducing the transmission of Covid-19. We are trialling this scheme using additional funding we have been given by central government to increase testing in areas of the borough where we have seen higher rates.
“We’d like to thank everyone in the area and across the borough for their continued efforts in stopping the spread of the virus. Please keep doing the right thing for Solihull, remember hands, face, space and look out for your neighbours, friends and family.”
Ruth Tennant, Director of Public Health, has said:
“The tests are not compulsory, but we hope people who are offered them, will use this opportunity to get tested, even if they haven’t got symptoms, as this will help us to understand how the virus is spreading.
“Testing is an important tool we have to control the spread of the virus. It’s also essential that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms self-isolates for 10 days from when their symptoms first started. The test tells you if you have Covid-19 but it’s the self-isolation that stops it spreading.”