Covid tests offered to frontline cops in Sheffield after officers hospitalised with virus
Police officers are being offered lateral flow Covid tests in South Yorkshire in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
Frontline officers and members of staff who deal with members of the public face to face now have access to lateral flow testing, which identify asymptomatic carriers.
South Yorkshire Police said: “As we continue to prioritise the wellbeing of our officers and staff, we are introducing lateral flow Covid testing across the force.
“Initially, this will be introduced to those who carry out front-line and public facing duties.”
The South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said a number of officers have been hospitalised due to the virus.
Chairman Steve Kent urged officers to take advantage of the tests.
“The force is rolling out lateral flow testing for officers which is a bit of a gradual process, but it’s very good news for officers,” he said.
“There may be some personal reasons why people don’t want the tests because they’re quite intrusive around your nose and your mouth, but unless there are specific issues like that, then please engage with it.
“Yes, you can rely on the regulations in terms of what they can and can’t make you do, but this is for you as much as it is for the force and it’s for you and your families as well.
“So, I’m really keen for officers to get on board with this and I think it’s a real positive step in the right direction in terms of keeping our officers healthy and in the workplace, and also preventing the spread.”
He added: “Sadly we’ve got officers off sick and we’ve got a number of officers who are in hospital, thankfully recovering at the minute.
“We are reflective of society in terms of that general sickness level. But to be fair our abstractions in our force have always been quite a lot lower than everybody else, and I think that is a genuine testament to the way the force has handled it.
“We’ve been ahead of the curve as much as possible when it comes to the virus, and I want to pay tribute to the overall approach of the force in terms of Covid because I think they’ve been absolutely spot on.”