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/ 24 December 2020

St Margaret’s Church becomes community run COVID19 Testing site

On Saturday 19th December St Margaret’s Church, Edgware, conducted the first COVID19 Asymptomatic (Lateral Flow) test site for Barnet, testing members of the public who were not displaying symptoms.  Those waiting outside the church were treated to live Christmas carol singing outside and offered take-away hot drinks.

St Margaret’s Church Edgware were first approached by the Public Health Registrar for London Borough of Barnet on 8th December enquiring whether they would like to take part in this pilot project. This meant setting up a dedication no symptoms test site, working in partnership with London Borough of Barnet Public Health to offer regular, on-the-spot, COVID-19 testing to our community. The idea is to find COVID19 in people without symptoms who were infectious and would likely spread it to others without realising.  Identifying such people helps protect the vulnerable by reducing transmission in local communities when positive cases self-isolate.  Testing is conducted using new rapid lateral flow devices.

A survey of participants found that the vast majority of people would be tested again in a similar setting and would recommend it to others.

Rev Sally Baily said

“we are delighted to be able to serve our local community in this way, giving people assurance that they are not carrying the virus home for Christmas. Our volunteer team, comprising retired health workers and other congregation members, did an amazing job.”

Dr Janet Djomba, Consultant in Public Health Barnet, said

“we were amazed at the number of people who came for testing on such short notice.  Rev Sally Baily showed exceptional leadership skills and volunteer team’s efforts exceeded our expectations.”

There are plans to roll out more community run test sites in the New Year, with St Margaret’s team assisting in training other community groups across the Borough.

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