Published: 10:56, 04 January 2021
| Updated: 09:55, 08 January 2021
Mass testing for those without Covid-19 symptoms will soon be available right across the county.
Anyone who lives or works in Kent can now go online to book a test at one of 14 testing centres.
It comes after targeted symptom-free testing, organised by Kent County Council (KCC), began on Sheppey last month at Sheerness East Working Men's Club in Queenborough Road, Halfway.
The fast coronavirus testing station and the one at Ramsgate Port, which opened on the same day, were set up to help bring down the infection rates in the county.
Medway was the first to open testing sites across the towns on December 5.
The county council has now also released a list of 14 sites where quick tests can be booked for those not displaying coronavirus symptoms.
The full list of testing centres are at:
All symptom-free testing sites will be open daily from 9am to 7pm from this Thursday, with all people who live and work in Kent able to book online.
Key workers and their families have already been receiving invites to book as a priority to support the NHS and other front-line services.
Once all 14 sites are open, there will be capacity for more than 13,000 tests across Kent every day. Since opening on December 17 there have been more than 8,800 tests carried out at the sites in Sheppey and Ramsgate.
Kent County Council leader Roger Gough said: “Rapid testing, combined with additional resources in contact tracing, means we will be able make significant strides in identifying and containing the virus across the county.
"The symptom-free testing sites are being set up using funding from central government to support local councils in tier 4 to help reduce rates of Covid-19 and we have also received support from the military.
"The opening of 14 sites has been a huge partnership effort between Kent County Council, central Government and the 12 district and borough councils. Another 10 sites are being planned for rollout in the coming weeks so we continue to do everything we can to help Kent out of this situation.”
The testing is to find people who don’t have symptoms but might be unknowingly spreading the virus.
People attending the new sites will take a lateral flow swab test and should receive their result within half-an-hour of attending the test.
If they are positive, they will be told to self-isolate, follow the national guidance and instructed to have a further test to confirm their positive result. If they are negative, they must still continue to observe social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and regularly wash hands.
To book a symptom-free Covid-19 test near you, use this link: kcc.healthit.org.uk
If you have symptoms, book a PCR test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test