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Rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic frontline health and care staff will be piloted in Powys from next week (14 December). The programme uses Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) which can be self-administered, and can produce results within 30 minutes.

The programme in Powys will launch with two pathfinder teams of health board staff, one in North Powys and one in South Powys.

A wider roll out for frontline health and care staff in Powys is expected from mid January.

Claire Preece, Clinical Lead for COVID-19 Testing for Powys Teaching Health Board, said:

“It is vital everyone understands that testing alone cannot eradicate the risks associated with contracting and transmitting Covid-19.  Testing is a risk mitigation step that needs to be taken alongside other infection prevention control measures, the effective use of personal protective equipment and appropriate social distancing and hand hygiene measures.”

While LFTs are not as sensitive as lab-based RT-PCR tests, scientific advice has indicated that by testing more frequently with LFTs, such as twice per week, their accuracy is on a par with RT-PCR tests.

More information about rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic staff in Wales is available from the Welsh Government website: https://gov.wales/regular-rapid-covid-testing-frontline-health-and-social-care-staff-wales-introduced

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