To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support Staffordshire County Council to tackle the rapid rise in demand for local testing for covid-19 in Staffordshire Moorlands.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
20 January 2021
The NHS Test and Trace system has built a testing capacity of more than 700,000 tests a day, from a starting point of 2,000 a day in March. Community asymptomatic testing is a major new tool to help identify and isolate individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms and may inadvertently be spreading the virus.
We are already working intensively with local authorities, including Staffordshire Moorlands, to ensure their community testing programmes are appropriately targeted during lockdown to continue to identify more positive cases and get them to isolate in order to break chains of transmission
On 10 January, it was confirmed that regular testing for people without symptoms of COVID-19 will be made available across the country from that week, with the eligibility of the community testing programme expanded to cover all 317 local authorities.