Around 11,000 Covid tests taken in Milton Keynes this week, says council leader
Council leader Peter Marland has stressed the importance of normalising rapid testing ahead of schools reopening next week.
With the Coronavirus infection rate in Milton Keynes finally declining at speed, Councillor Marland, once again emphasised the need for workers to be tested regularly.
The Councillor was speaking on March 4 giving his weekly Coronavirus update briefing.
As part of stage one of the UK Government's roadmap out of lockdown schools will reopen across the country restarting in-person education this Monday on March 8. This includes Milton Keynes were all students will be invited back to school and college halls.
Councillor Marland said: "Next week our schools will reopen to all pupils. They have been working hard to prepare for all pupils to return to the classroom.
"Secondary schools will be running' rapid lateral flow' tests and in some schools testing has already begun. If you have a child returning to school please make sure you follow all the guidance the school has given.
"Around 11,000 tests have been taken in Milton Keynes and a thousand of those were in our test centre in the library."
The council is incentivising testing by making free rapid tests available to all key workers and essential workers from Central Library. These tests are available between 9.30am and 4.30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or 9.30am to 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Councillor Marland added: "Regular testing even if you haven't got symptoms, is going to be part of life for some time to come. It is something we have to get used to like masks and social distancing. The main thing is that if in a job or situation that requires a regular test then you need to make sure that that is ongoing.
"It isn't something you can do once and forget about. We're asking local businesses to play their part, which could be as simple as providing time for employees to get the test during the working day. Businesses with more than 50 staff can run their own testing schemes. And we're offering help to learn how to test or provide advice on how to run a testing programme.
"Just email us on [email protected]"
Alongside the already announced additional funding available to Milton Keynes businesses. The Council Leader discussed a one off payment for taxi drivers, saying: "More payments are in the pipeline. We've also just launched a new one-off £250 grant for taxi licence holders.
"If your business has yet to receive grant funding, but you think you're eligible, please do get in touch. The details are on our website at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/business."