Government announces new expanded testing service campaign
A new Government testing push will double the amount of COVID-19 testing in the UK, aiming to reach 500,000 tests performed a day. Asymptomatic cases among health workers will be a focus of the expansion. More people without symptoms will be tested; the goal by September is to reach 150,000 people a day who do not know they have the virus, such as those working in health and social care and other jobs that involve contact with other people.
This new campaign will launch on Thursday and aims to increase awareness of NHS Test and Trace from around 60% today to over 80% by October, supported by a new marketing campaign. Additional objectives include having 500 testing sites in full operation by October and to further improve testing turnaround times. This has led to an aim of providing results within the next day after booking a test wherever possible and in at least 80% of cases for urgent in-person tests by the end of July.
As part of the public campaign to get people tested, a new 60-second TV advert will be launched. The long-awaited NHS Test and Trace app is said to be part of the campaign, although there is no date set for this yet. The latest data shows that the numbers testing positive for coronavirus have increased for the third week in a row from 3,800 to 3,900 to 4,100. Increased testing is part of the reason, but infection rates in England and particularly in some cities and regions have slightly increased.