Lateral flow kits supply ‘sufficient’ in Northern Ireland as PCR tests released in batches - Dept.

The Department of Health last night told the Journal there was “a sufficient supply of lateral flow tests for Northern Ireland” after concerns were raised that some people were having difficulties securing them.
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The Department said local community pharmacies and other collect sites “are being replenished regularly” with the free kits.

“You can use the online site finder to find a local collection site. If the site closest to you does not have any tests, you can look for other collect sites in your local area,” a spokesperson said, adding: “You can also order a LFD test online for home delivery. Due to high demand, tests may be released in batches throughout the day on the online home delivery service. If you are not able to order tests immediately, please check again regularly throughout the day.”

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The Department spokesperson said it was also vital people isolate and book a PCR if they have symptoms. “The levels of COVID-19 circulating in the community are at the highest rate they have ever been, and it is vitally important that anyone with symptoms isolates immediately and books a PCR test. Booking slots are made available at stages throughout the day and people are encouraged to retry should they not get a test immediately. You should continue to isolate until you have received the results of your test. If the test is positive, you must complete your isolation period.”

Queue for Covid – 19 test at the Templemore Sports Complex. DER2152GS – 003Queue for Covid – 19 test at the Templemore Sports Complex. DER2152GS – 003
Queue for Covid – 19 test at the Templemore Sports Complex. DER2152GS – 003

Meanwhile no new restrictions were issued after a virtual meeting of the NI Executive yesterday, while Minister Edwin Poots suggested the 10-day isolation period for those who test positive is being cut to seven days in line with England providing people test negative on days six and seven.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Padraig Delargey meanwhile paid tribute to those working at the test centre and labs “who are working tirelessly throughout this difficult period”. “Work must be urgently undertaken to ensure that these workers’ are properly supported and resourced,” he added.