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Military supporting rapid testing for key workers with no symptoms in Tameside

Press Release: 20/01/2021


Rapid TestingRegular, rapid testing for key worker groups without coronavirus symptoms is now available in Tameside. 

The weekly rapid lateral flow tests – which give a result in half an hour - are to protect key workers, and the people they need to be with, by helping to break the transmission of the disease by those who do not have symptoms, but may have still caught the virus. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, testing has been a key feature of managing and containing the spread of the virus. 

Until this point, testing has mainly been available for people with symptoms. This asymptomatic testing will play an important part in Tameside’s battle against Coronavirus. The tests are aimed at all key workers including health and social care staff, taxi drivers, other transport workers, those working in manufacturing and retail, police, fire, nurseries and early years staff and carers who are unable to work from home.

Military personnel will work alongside public sector staff to provide testing at Dukinfield Town Hall and Stalybridge Civic Hall (old market hall) from Wednesday (20).

The Dukinfield site will be offering tests between 7am to 7pm, and Stalybridge site 9am to 5pm every weekday.  Eligible key workers can drop in for a test at any time, no appointment is needed – and are being asked to bring along an ID badge or other proof of occupation.  The Public Health team are recommending key workers attend our local testing centres regularly every week. 

Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Eleanor Wills, responsible for health, said: “Across the country, it is thought that around one in three people who contract Covid-19 show no symptoms. And so the introduction of rapid testing is a crucial part of our ongoing efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus in Tameside. The rapid testing of staff who are most likely to be moving around the borough or are less likely to be able to reduce contact with other people as a result of their job role means we can quickly identify and isolate more people with the virus – protecting our residents and workforces and keeping our vital community services operational.”

Major John Steele, 1st Regiment Royal Military Police, added: “We have pulled together Military personnel from three bases to support the operation here in Tameside. As with the overall response to the pandemic this has very much been a matter of everyone coming together to protect communities.  Rapid lateral flow tests are a new kind of technology that can be used in the community and give a quick result, without needing to go to a lab for processing. The tests are self-administered and can give a result in half an hour but our staff are on hand at both sites to guide local key workers through the process. It is important to note that regular rapid testing is used only to check for infection for people who have no symptoms and that masks must be worn in the testing centres unless exemptions apply.”

More information on the Tameside Rapid Testing programme can be found at


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