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Helping local businesses stop the spread of coronavirus

test and trace Published Friday, 05 February 2021

Wyre Council has laid out further plans to help keep local businesses safe and keep the spread of coronavirus under control.

Over the last 7 weeks, the council has been working with Lancashire County Council and the military to help businesses with over 20 employees implement lateral flow testing for their workforces. Businesses in Wyre who are interested in setting up regular testing of symptom free staff can now contact the council who will help them to get started.  

Addison Project PLC is one business that has worked with the council to set up lateral flow testing for their staff. Marcus Addison, Group Managing Director explains, “This testing goes hand in hand with our current in-house, strict COVID-19 measures, and it assists us that bit further in being able to detect infectious asymptomatic individuals and protect each other.

“We are very grateful for this provision, and the support offered by Wyre Council to enable Addisons to be involved with lateral flow testing.  We are impressed at the professional delivery of the testing by the army teams involved. We now have many members of our own staff that are fully qualified to continue testing as an in-house provision when the army is redeployed. Well done to everyone involved for embracing and carrying out this vital task in such a professional and encouraging manner.”

The council is also in the process of setting up a lateral flow testing centre for those without coronavirus symptoms who have to leave home for work. This centre will be for the self-employed including taxi drivers, and for those workers whose employers are not currently offering testing.

Workers will be encouraged to get tested regularly. The lateral flow tests used will provide rapid results in 30 minutes. People with coronavirus symptoms must still book a test via the NHS website and not attend a lateral flow test centre.  

Councillor Michael Vincent, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development at Wyre Council comments, “Working with businesses in this way is helping to protect workers, their families and in turn the community. It’s also providing resilience for those businesses.

 “We are here to help businesses who want to set up testing for their own staff. Up to one in three people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms so lateral flow testing is a good way to identify positive cases before they have a chance to spread to workers’ families and the wider community. I would encourage any businesses with over 20 staff to get in touch so that we can help set up rapid testing.

“Our officers are also working with businesses to investigate outbreaks of COVID-19 and provide advice and support. We’ve been involved in the investigation of 22 outbreaks in businesses and thanks to a quick response from us and the businesses involved we have been able to protect staff and prevent further spread of the virus in the community.”  

“Wyre currently has one of the lowest coronavirus rates in Lancashire thanks to the cooperation of the public and local businesses, and we hope the work we are doing can help to bring it down even further.”

Wyre Council has been supporting businesses throughout the pandemic, making payments of over £36 million in grants and helping businesses to operate in a Covid secure manner.

Councillor Vincent continues, “Council officers and Covid Marshals have visited almost 1500 business premises across Wyre, helping them to put the latest guidance into practice and ensure they are operating safely. We’ve responded to over 200 complaints, taking action where needed. We understand that the guidance can be complex and we’ve had over 500 requests for advice and support. As we look to the future and the prospect of more businesses being able to reopen, we are still here to help, so please do get in touch.”

“Cases are thankfully starting to fall and the vaccination roll out is going really well in our area, however we all still need to follow the lockdown guidance. It’s thanks to so many people playing their part that we are in a better position now than we were at the start of the year.”

Businesses looking to set up lateral flow testing can get in touch with council by emailing regeneration@wyre.gov.uk or by registering online at www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus.  Businesses needing advice on operating safely can contact commercialsafety@wyre.gov.uk  

Further details of the lateral flow testing centre in Wyre will be confirmed soon. Anyone who feels unwell and is in any doubt about whether they might have coronavirus should get a test by calling 119 or by visiting the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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