Health chief reveals the shockingly LOW number of people with Covid symptoms in Sheffield who get tested

Sheffield’s director of public health Greg Fell has said that ‘at most’ only 25 per cent of people with Covid symptoms in Sheffield are getting tested, as he announced that testing for those without symptoms is ‘on the way’.

Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 2:08 pm

In his latest update on Sheffield’s Covid-19 situation, Greg Fell said that the infection rate in Sheffield has been falling steadily, and that numbers of people who have been hospitalised after tested positive has ‘stabilised’, though ‘hospitals remain really busy’.

The infection rate for the city last week was around 320 people per 100,000 of the population on average, whereas now it stands at closer to 250, Mr Fell confirmed.

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Alderson Road Walk-in COVID 19 test centre in Sheffield

He also said that in Sheffield at the moment around 7000 people are getting tested each day, with around 1400 of those being positive tests. However, he stressed that this is still only a small proportion of the number who should be getting tested.

Mr Fell said: “For every person with symptoms that gets tested there are three or four that do not. So at most we are testing 25 per cent of those with symptoms.

"So to interrupt the rate of transmission that is the real business end. We will focus most of our effort there.

"That underscores the importance. If you have symptoms, no matter how mild, seek a test. What follows – contact tracing and isolation – will really make the difference.”

Greg Fell

While the council is still focused on testing symptomatic people, Mr Fell also announced plans to roll out asymptomatic testing in the near future to combat the 20 per cent of Covid cases which are believed to lave the carrier without symptoms.

Asymptomatic testing for students ahead of the Christmas travel window has already begun.

"Asymptomatic testing will come and we will push that in many spaces,” Mr Fell said. “The key problem is the accuracy of the test. It’s not as accurate as the test we use in those with symptoms, os the baisc trade-off is one of speed of results with the accuracy of the result.

"It is worth saying that of people with the illness 80 per cent have symptoms. So our efforts to date have been weighted towards those who have symptoms.”