More than 1,500 scientists and technologists work at the Liverpool city region science and innovation campus Sci-Tech Daresbury and they are to be offered free rapid COVID-19 tests. Tony McDonough reports
Property firm Langtree is to trial lateral flow COVID-19 testing for everyone working at the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and innovation campus.
During peak staffing more than 1,500 scientists and technologists work at the Liverpool city region facility which has remained open through the pandemic. Langtree says it may roll out the testing across its 50 commercial sites in the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire.
Sci-Tech Daresbury is a joint venture between Langtree, Halton Council and the Government’s Science and Technology Facilities Council. Langtree will work with the public health team at Halton Council to provide a pop-up testing facility.
“By definition it’s harder for scientists to work from home so we’ve had a continuous presence here throughout lockdown,” says Jayne Furnival, Langtree’s group property director. “We want our residents to feel confident that the people around them are safe and we want our own staff to feel likewise.”
Langtree was one of the first property companies to ensure that its entire estate was COVID compliant and sees this move as an opportunity to explore whether it is feasible to roll out testing nationwide. The developer houses more than 500 companies across its UK estate.
Eileen O’Meara, Halton’s director of public health, added: “This type of regular, rapid testing will be vital in keeping the virus under control as we take cautious steps to reopen society.
“We know that around one in three people who have COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms, so I would encourage everyone working at the site to take up the offer and get tested.”
The pop-up testing facility will be able to process more than 300 people a day, with participants finding out their results within half an hour.