A MAJOR new testing programme has been launched for residents in Leeds in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Around one in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms and will spread it without realising.

Now, in a bid to stop the risk by finding new cases, Leeds City Council is offering the following options for people to take part in community testing.

• A home ordering service - https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.

• Collection at a local test site during specific test collection time windows - https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site.

• Pharmacies offering home test collection - https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/.

• Community testing sites at Armley Community Hub and Library, 2 Stocks Hill, Armley, LS12 1UQ; City Centre Community Hub, Woodhouse Lane, LS2 8LX; Deacon House Centre, Seacroft Avenue, Leeds, LS14 6JD; Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library, 190 Dewsbury Road, LS11 6PF; Halton Library, 273 Selby Road, LS15 7JR; The Compton Centre Community Hub and Library, Harehills Lane, Harehills, LS9 7BG; and The Reginald Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 3EX. Opening hours 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm Saturday except City Centre Community Hub which doesn’t open Saturdays.

• Testing on-site at Leeds Beckett University - City Campus LS1 3HE (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 2pm) Headingley Campus LS6 3QS (Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm).

Residents should have two tests during a week-long period. This community testing is only for people with no symptoms. Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should self-isolate and book a test.

Public health leaders in the city hope as many people as possible will take part in the new initiative to protect both themselves and others.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health, said: “We’ve launched this initiative to help drive down transmission rates. Increased community testing is a vital additional tool at our disposal to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the disease. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and breaking chains of transmission.

“I’d encourage as many asymptomatic residents as possible to take advantage of this new service. By doing so, they’ll not only be protecting themselves, but also all those around them.”

For full details of all Covid-19 testing options in Leeds visit https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-where-to-go-for-testing/.