Nearly a tenth of those coming to Haringey’s Covid-19 rapid testing sites on the first full day it opened to the general public tested positive for the virus.
Some 20 out of 241 (8.3%) taking the lateral flow tests for people not showing any of the symptoms, were informed they had it.
More widely, it is estimated that around one in three carriers do not know they have coronavirus – but they risk passing it on to others.
To help identify those and reduce the spread, Haringey Council has set up two rapid testing sites in the borough.
It is a walk-in service so people do not need to book for a test, which is free and will give the results within a few hours.
The Covid-secure test sites are at:
Tottenham Community Sports Centre, 701 – 703 High Road, N17 8AD.
48 Station Road, Wood Green, N22 7TY.
The sites are open from noon until 7pm Tuesdays – Fridays and 10am until 5pm on Saturdays.
Dr Will Maimaris, Haringey’s Director of Public Health, said: “The number of cases in Haringey has gone up significantly since early December, which is why we now find ourselves in lockdown.
“A lot of people simply don’t know they have it and while they may be fine, the people they pass it onto may not be so lucky.
“For the people who have tested positive, it means staying indoors for a few days, but that action alone can save someone else’s life.
“And if they are not spreading it because they are in isolation that means we are one small step to coming out of lockdown with our freedoms returned and our local businesses reopening.
“Anyone can take a test, but I’d particularly like to see any essential workers (from childcare workers to supermarket workers and transport workers) who may have more day-to-day dealings with people outside their households, even in lockdown, taking them.”
The tests are carried out with a throat and a nasal swab.
The sites are not for people who have shown any of the Covid-19 symptoms, that is a new and constant cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to their sense of smell of taste.
If you have any of the symptoms you should book an appointment via NHS 119 or book a test online (external link) do not come to the rapid test sites.