This Is What The UK's First Mass Coronavirus Testing Operation Has Told Us So Far

Some 90,000 Liverpool residents have been tested for Covid-19 since last Friday, with 430 people testing positive.
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Nearly 20% of Liverpool residents took part in the city’s mass coronavirus testing pilot in its first week, according to figures from the city’s mayor.

Mayor Joe Anderson said 90,000 people had been tested for Covid-19 since last Friday, when the city began offering tests to everyone regardless of whether they had symptoms.

The figure is 18% of the city’s population of just under half a million.

Anderson told BBC Breakfast that 430 people had tested positive, with only about 200 of them showing symptoms before they had a test.

The latest approximate figures for testing, until mid-afternoon on Thursday show:

  • More than 50,000 Liverpool residents tested for Covid19 using lateral flow devices
  • More than 30,000 Liverpool residents tested for Covid19 using PCR tests at mobile testing units
  • Total of over 80,000 Liverpool residents reached since Friday 6 November – over 16% in less than a week
  • In addition, almost 10,000 people from neighbouring areas have been tested for Covid19 using lateral flow devices at Liverpool sites, bringing the total of people tested to 90,000.
  • Lateral flow tests confirmed 336 positive cases, 265 from Liverpool. This is a positivity rate of about 0.5 percent.

He said: “Four hundred and thirty people are not spreading the virus – it means that we can break the chain of infection.

“Since we’ve been into Tier 3, we had 680 people per 100,000 that were positive in the city. We’ve now got that down in terms of the R rate, the infection rate, to around 300 per 100,000, so that’s a positive move and a positive step for us.

Soldiers at The Exhibition Centre in Liverpool, which has been set up as a testing centre as part of the mass Covid-19 testing in Liverpool
Soldiers at The Exhibition Centre in Liverpool, which has been set up as a testing centre as part of the mass Covid-19 testing in Liverpool
PA

“The overall aim, of course, is to reduce the admissions into our hospitals, which is also now starting to come down, so we’re pleased with the way things are going and we think it will have an impact.”

The latest figures, for the number of new cases in the week up to November 8, show that Liverpool had an infection rate of 283.1 per 100,00 people.

On Twitter, Anderson said 50,000 people had received lateral flow tests, which are being offered to people without symptoms and give results within an hour, and 40,000 had gone to mobile testing units across the city.

There are currently 38 test centres in Liverpool, including facilities at leisure centres, church halls and at Anfield Stadium.

About 2,000 military personnel have been deployed to the city to help run the pilot.

Testing has also taken place in some schools in the city and thousands of home testing kits have been sent out.

Residents are now being encouraged to have a repeat test once a week.

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