Jersey

Coronavirus: On-island testing in Jersey available

Laboratory worker using pipette on sample pots Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new tests mean results will be returned on the same day

On-island testing for coronavirus is now available in Jersey.

The "rapid" testing kits arrived on Tuesday and will give patients their results on the same day they are tested.

Previous tests had to be sent to the UK for analysis, which took about 48 hours for a result.

Priority will be given to patients who are admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms and healthcare staff who need to continue working.

The test assesses whether a person is carrying the severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 virus, the infectious agent which causes Covid-19.

The on-island laboratory which will process the tests will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A total of 150,000 antibody tests, which determine if someone has had coronavirus and developed immunity, are due to arrive this month, according to the government of Jersey.

Adrian O'Keeffe, pathology manager at Jersey General Hospital, said: "The ability to test for Covid-19 in Jersey means that people admitted to hospital can promptly be put onto the most appropriate treatment and they don't need to be held in isolation rooms for 48 hours pending their result."

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said the arrival of the kits was "wonderful news" and said they would provide "a fuller picture on how best to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in Jersey".

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