Support on hand at Fife's first Community Testing centre

Morag Paterson

Fife's first Community Testing centre for those without Covid-19 symptoms has opened at the Maxwell Centre. in Cowdenbeath.

For the first time in Fife, mass testing is taking place of those who don't have any Covid -19 symptoms. This Community Testing helps find those who might have the disease but don't know because they've no symptoms. One in three people who test positive for Covid-19 don't have any symptoms, this means they can be spreading it to family and friends without knowing.

All residents of Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Lumphinnans are being asked to come along and take a test to see if they might unknowingly be Covid-19 positive. They can then take immediate steps to self-isolate and stop the disease from spreading any further.

Nigel Kerr, Head of Protective Service in Fife, said: "We know that there are a lot of people who aren't self-isolating simply because they don't know they are Covid positive. There are also others who may be worried about taking a test because they are worried about the impact of self-isolating on their job, finances or family.

“We understand that being asked to self-isolate at short notice can present you with a lot of problems. Not everyone may be lucky enough to have family, friends or good neighbours nearby who can help with things like getting groceries or picking up prescriptions. Some people are only a week’s wages away from absolute poverty and can’t afford not to work.

"We don’t want these things to be a barrier to people getting tested and that's why we have put so much support in place, directly in the centre. We are here to help support you if you need to self-isolate.”

Dedicated confidential support will be available onsite, providing advice on accessing different financial support alongside help with more practical issues. There are also grocery bags available with basic supplies to keep the whole family going if you need to go home immediately and self-isolate.

The Cowdenbeath site is just one of five pop up sites which NHS Fife and Fife Council are rolling out in different areas across Fife in the coming weeks, along with additional mobile testing units.

The centre will open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday initially. These times may change according to demand. This is a drop-in service and you don't have to book an appointment.

More information on the support we can provide to those who need to self-isolate can be found here

Further information and updates on the Fife Community Testing programme is available at www.nhsfife.org/communitytesting