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The queue at Liverpool Tennis Centre at the start of the mass-testing pilot

MORE than 23,000 people have been tested so far in Liverpool’s mass-testing pilot.

Since asymptomatic testing went live at six centres on Friday, 23,170 people were tested up to 3pm yesterday with 154 people (0.7 per cent) testing positive for Covid-19.

Another 10 centres opened on Saturday and two more on Monday, bringing the number of pilot testing centres for people without symptoms to 18, with more to open during the coming days.

These centres are running alongside the mobile testing units already operating in the city for people with Covid-19 symptoms.

Learning from the pilot is already improving the customer journey with longer-than-expected waiting times on Friday now improved thanks to new measures including an online map – https://liverpool.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/ – that lets people see which sites are busy.

The gov.uk booking form – www.gov.uk/testliverpool – is also being improved after feedback from the public.

The pilot has already been expanded to include children under 11 as well offering 11-18-year-olds the chance to be tested in 12 secondary schools and one special school with parental consent.

To find out more about Liverpool’s mass-testing pilot please see these regularly updated frequently asked questions.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is a strong start to the pilot with a really encouraging turnout and I’d like to thank everyone who has participated so far.

“We’re only in the early stages, but these figures demonstrate that Liverpool is up for the challenge and residents and workers are prepared to do what they can to help tackle this virus together.

“With more centres opening up in the coming days, we hope to see an increase in the numbers of people getting tested, and also encourage those who have already gone through the process to get a repeat test again during the trial.

“This city has been given the opportunity to make a real difference in the fight against Covid-19 and I urge everyone to do their bit and get tested.”

Liverpool’s Director of Public Health Matt Ashton said: “The aim of this project is to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially.

“To be the only city to be piloting this ground-breaking mass testing programme is very exciting. We do need to emphasise this is a pilot scheme so there will be some teething problems, but this is our chance to drive down transmission rates and return to normal more quickly.

“I encourage everyone to get tested as we need to grab this opportunity and play our part for Liverpool.”