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Day 5 Covid Tests Now Processed In Jersey

Day 5 coronavirus tests are now being processed on-island.

They were previously sent away to the UK which meant results took longer to return. 

Therefore people coming to Jersey from amber regions were often having to spend longer than five days in isolation.

Head of Health Improvement, Andrew Heaven, explains why these weren't done in Jersey earlier.

"Previously, our passenger numbers were much higher and also the airport lab, we wanted to deliberately ramp that lab up in a controlled and managed way. What we didn't want to do was throw too much capacity at it, whilst we were making sure that our processes were to standard and we had confidence in them.

"As capacity allows us, we will assign a test for direct contacts to the on-island laboratory. In essence, our airport lab is now doing what we commissioned it to do in terms of testing those tests around as quickly as possible under 12 hours.

"We are constantly now managing that mix of what we send to that lab and what we send away."

The airport lab has been processing border tests, which has an average test turnaround time of around seven hours.

The hospital lab has from this week been returning results in an hour.

The Health Minister says letters will be going out to certain employers very shortly asking its workers to take part in a local workforce coronavirus testing programme.

Deputy Richard Renouf told Scrutiny that it will be mainly focused on workers who are more exposed to the virus.

Those tests, carried out at regular intervals, will be sent to off-island labs, which have a test turnaround time of around 29 hours.

"Those tests because they are a test of a whole workforce, they're not testing people who might be symptomatic, we will largely use the UK testing laboratories for that."

Channel 103 has asked for more information on how regular these tests will be carried out, which members of the workforce will be tested, and when this programme will start.

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