MANY of the 10,000 “lateral flow” tests being sent to Bradford each week will be used to help facilitate visits to care homes.

Last week the Government announced that Bradford was one of several local authorities that will be sent a weekly allocation of the new Covid tests, which provide results within 30 minutes.

Head of Public Health in Bradford Sarah Muckle spoke about the tests at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday night.

She said the first priority will be to allow people living in care homes, many of whom have not seen family members for months, to start getting visitors again.

Updating members on how the District is coping with the Covid 19 pandemic, she said: “The first thing we want to use these tests for is to test care home visitors so care home residents can identify a regular visitor. We can then test that visitor weekly so they can visit and not spread the virus.

Public Health board dealing with 94 Covid outbreaks in Bradford

“We’re ready to go with this as soon as we get the tests.”

The meeting also heard that the Council was already testing around 16,000 people a week, via testing centres and door to door testing in some areas of the District with high infection rates.

Explaining the test, Mrs Muckle said: “It is a much more rapid way of testing that doesn’t require lab testing. It picks up if people are infectious. If you get a positive it is because you are infectious, not because you have the virus in your system.”

She said setting up the testing system will take a “huge” amount of work.