Four areas in Greater Lincolnshire with COVID infection rates over double national average
The government’s move to have people tested twice a week was expected and welcomed, but “don’t think you’re unscathed” if you get a negative result, health bosses have warned.
Professor Derek Ward, director of public health for Lincolnshire County Council, said the move was “another tool in the toolbox”.
However, he added that the “primary line of defense” is to keep going with social distancing, hands, face, space and fresh air.
As part of the new measures, residents can pick up home test kits in the afternoon at any of the district’s lateral flow test centers and at the PCR test sites. You can also order tests online.
“It’s another line of defense, it’s another tool in the toolbox. That’s a good thing, but it’s really important for everyone to remember it, even if you test yourself twice a week. A negative doesn’t mean you definitely don’t have it. COVID just means the test didn’t catch it, and we know they are not perfect on side-flow tests, ”said Professor Ward.
“So it’s great to test yourself, but that doesn’t mean that if you get a negative you can go back and do what you want. You have to follow the rules so that the hands, face and room message stay the same whether you are testing yourself or not. “
He added that false negatives are more important to health bosses than false positives because anyone who tests positive receives a free PCR test that can be done within days to confirm the diagnosis – even though they are in the study itself have to isolate meanwhile.
Professor Ward was on the fence about so-called COVID passports.
He said they are “almost inevitably needed for international travel”.
“From an infection prevention perspective, it helps from a public health perspective for people to know and have some. Some certificates that show whether they received two or one dose are helpful,” he said.
However, he added: “I do not underestimate the impact of civil liberties and some of the other arguments related to this debate. Ultimately, it will be your political choice, it will be what the people of the country want and ask their politicians to fund, and we will take care of whatever comes up that way. “
Elsewhere, Professor Ward said the numbers in the county “are all going in the right direction,” with cases falling by more than a third over the past week and all but Lincoln seeing reductions in infection rates over the Easter weekend. However, the county is still above the national infection rate.