Havering Council has confirmed with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that it will be able to participate in the early role out of rapid COVID-19 tests.
The Council was initially missed off a list of 50 local authorities published by the DHSC to receive the latest test kits despite having expressed an interest to be included.
Each director of public health was given the opportunity to apply for the kits to be used to test local people based on their knowledge of the local community, in a bid to help stop the spread of the infection and protect the vulnerable.
The tests will mean that high risk groups and asymptomatic people will have access to testing.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“We expressed an interest to participate and were surprised to see we were not included when it was announced.
“We now know this was an oversight by the Department of Health and Social Care and we are now part of this first group who will be doing this. We couldn’t afford to ignore this as we see the number of people infected by COVID-19 continuing to increase in the borough.”
Mark Ansell, Havering’s Director of Public Health, said:
“We’re pleased with the outcome as it means that people who may be infected and infectious but without symptoms can get tested and take the necessary actions, and ultimately help us in our fight against the virus.
“We are still in the early stages of developing our plans to deliver these tests and we’re working out how and where the tests will be delivered. As soon as more information is available we will publish our plans on the website and social media.”