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Source: City of Salford

Salford City Council has confirmed that the small-scale trial of Direct LAMP saliva testing has ended and that it is now one of 93 areas which have signed up to roll out locally led testing using lateral flow technology. Thousands of these lateral flow tests will be made available to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic people in Salford.

Since September the cases of COVID-19 increased rapidly within Salford and across the region as well as nationwide, meaning that Salford City Council has focused resources on managing outbreaks and containment of the virus.

Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a high proportion of asymptomatic people, better enabling local authorities to identify and isolate more people who are infectious and at high likelihood of spreading the virus. Swabbing and processing of these tests is conducted on-site by trained staff – making it more suited to targeted and more widely available community testing. The use of Lateral Flow testing is being explored by all Greater Manchester authorities working together where appropriate.

Salford has remained committed to increasing community testing to reduce transmission of the virus for the future. The Department of Health and Social Care has expressed thanks to Salford City Council for being early adopters of one of NHS Test and Trace’s mass testing pilots. The small-scale saliva testing pilot work in Salford increased understanding of the use of direct LAMP in asymptomatic testing.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said “The aim of our trial in Salford was to see if – and how – saliva tests could practically work for mass COVID-19 testing in the community. They were well received as an easy non-invasive test. All of those who took part can be assured that their saliva was tested with both Direct LAMP and PCR technology, making the results reliable.

“Unfortunately, timing wasn’t with us for extending this pilot as testing technologies and rates of COVID-19 continued to move after the original discussions with the Department for Health and Social Care. We are now working to bring Lateral Flow testing to the city and city-region in order to provide testing in our communities.

“We accept that testing technology that is more mobile with quick results, used alongside PCR testing technology will be better suited to use in a community setting, providing the potential for regular, repeat testing of asymptomatic individuals.

“We remain committed to increasing COVID-19 testing in the city to contain the virus so we can resume the activities our communities hold dear. As part of this commitment we hope that Greater Manchester, as a whole, will be rolling out Lateral Flow testing to the public in line with the findings and learning from Liverpool’s recent experiences.”


Date published
Friday 27 November 2020

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