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Norfolk Covid test buses mobilise across the county as residents asked to 'climb aboard' to help identify symptomless cases

Norfolk County Council has launched a fleet of four mobile clinical test buses which will be touring the county in the coming weeks.

The council has asked people to climb aboard and help them to identify the one in three people who may have Covid without any symptoms so they can avoid passing the virus on to family, friends and colleagues.

The authority is the first in the country to commission and deploy multiple units of the specially converted buses, which are out and about in Norfolk from today.

Test buses could soon be visiting your area.
Test buses could soon be visiting your area.

The buses are for people who aren’t showing any symptoms of the virus, to have rapid lateral flow device tests and have been converted by Project MOVE, a scheme created to help provide mobile clinical services in more locations.

The converted Oxford Bus Company vehicles will be operated by Norfolk Go-Ahead Group sister company Konectbus.

Each bus has the capacity to undertake up to 100 observed rapid tests a day.

Observed tests are where people swab themselves under the guidance of a trained operator who then processes the test, reads the result and records it.

Director of Public Health Norfolk, Dr Louise Smith said: “This is great news for our county and means testing is even more readily available. By identifying those who are carrying the virus without symptoms, we can help break the chain of transmission. Testing is one of the key ways to help us return to normality so it is imperative that people take regular tests, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated.”

The first locations to be visited by the buses between today and May 15 are Waitrose in Church Lane, Eaton, Tesco extra on Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston and Next on William Frost Way in New Costessey, Norwich and Tesco Superstore on Thetford Road in Watton, Thetford.

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