Community Testing

The data sets being used to inform policy are incomplete and presumptive. The only way to accurately map the spread of the illness is to test, trace and isolate. This will enable the R number to be more accurately determined and give greater clarity regarding the behaviour of the virus. It will also mean that those fit and well can engage in normal everyday activities such as work and social events.

Why the contribution is important

Scotland already has significant challenges with health inequalities and premature death rates. A prolonged lockdown will only compound these issues in the long term. The economic damage being done will only push negative health outcomes further down the road. The looming recession is potentially a greater threat than the virus. Furthermore, critical services within the NHS are not being currently accessed which is storing up problems and may lead to increased deaths by other diseases.

In the absence of treatments for Covid 19, the only viable option is to test, trace and isolate, so that the spread of the virus is strategically contained. This should be a critical priority for Government to restore normal life and avoid negative social and health outcomes caused by other factors.

by Jmc77 on May 09, 2020 at 09:28AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 39 votes


  • Posted by netsavings May 09, 2020 at 10:28

    Agreed. It, to me, is stunning that so much money is apparently being spent on dealing with the effects on businesses and individuals, but it seems very little (in comparison) is being spent on testing and tracing.
    The current efforts regarding testing are rather pathetic and there needs to be a major step up in this effort, including galvanising the totality of the population, businesses, and other bodies.
    The government seems hell bent on retaining tight control and avoiding involving the whole country.
    It is not too late to make a major change in strategy and actions.
  • Posted by RC1956 May 09, 2020 at 11:37

    Fully agree, trumpeting about having the capacity to test is all very well but only of any good if that capacity is then used.
    Priority should be given to regular testing for NHS staff, Carers, Care home residents and hospital patients. Once this is achieved testing should be rolled out in the wider community. Wider testing with contact tracing and anti body testing when available is required to provide accurate data in determining the true level of infection. This would also enable localised action in areas where there are spikes and also help alleviate anxiety in areas where there is little or no incidence of infection. Only when accurate data is available will we be able to plan for relaxation of restrictions with any degree of confidence.
  • Posted by Andy1510 May 09, 2020 at 13:26

    At the very least, community testing would address the current problem of some people having the virus, not showing symptoms, and continuing to go about their daily business. (Estimates in other countries have shown this to be as high as 25%)
    Continuous testing of the population is ideal but not feasible. In the meantime, any increase in community testing would highlight infected, asymptomatic people, stop them spreading within their household and thus reducing the spread.
    Increased testing also helps enormously with the data being so heavily relied on to estimate the extent of the spread of the virus and thus the calculation of the 'R' value which seems to be the all important number. The more you test, the more accurate the estimate.
    Totally agree with other comments on the capacity. There is absolutely no point in reporting capacity numbers for testing if you are not going to use them.
  • Posted by Opportunity May 09, 2020 at 21:21

    Scotland has tested just 1901 people in the last 24 hours, down from 2094 the day before. Despite community testing offering a number of advantages and in theory being able to inform the government's actions: Does anybody seriously believe at the current extremely low test rates there is any chance to catch up and ramp up to where we should be?
    Community testing was abandoned a while ago which was a grave mistake and either due to ignorance, head-in-the-sand-tactics or simply lack of capacity and financial means.
    The first may have been addressed (to some extent), the second also (again to some extent), but the third persists.
  • Posted by Gmcdonaugh May 09, 2020 at 22:16

    If we have the capacity to test more and the full daily quota is not being used by those who are the chosen few for testing the remainder of the tests should be offered to communities if staff/army are standing at test centres waiting and no one turns up then the testing should be opened up locally surely they know day to day how many are booked booked in and how many tests are left for that day set up a separate queue for overflow ones and do on a first come first served basis then at least we would be meeting the full no of tests per day and still prioritising those who need it most
    We need to make every day count with testing the full no of tests we have and make the most of these people’s time waiting around with no one in test centres is not best use of time/money or resources
  • Posted by Gmcdonaugh May 09, 2020 at 22:18

    Use the trailer /mobile blood units and take to communities for testing this could be done at health centres
  • Posted by Hadenuff May 10, 2020 at 06:52

    The test strategy should be amended to 'test everyone', it seems a little ludicrous to champion a test, trace & isolate strategy but limit the testing to those who only show symptoms. It is the ones who unknowingly carry the virus but show no symptoms that need isolation.
  • Posted by JulieColl May 10, 2020 at 08:51

    Testing is the answer to get on with our ‘new normal’ lives.
    If small, remote communities without any cases could be tested, we could start to look forward.
  • Posted by Woodsider May 11, 2020 at 12:20

    fully support
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