Numbers of people with covid has decreased. (Image credit: Olimpia Zagnat)

Local Nottinghamshire public health officials have announced that lateral flow testing (LFT) will not be seen in the city until January.

The tests were announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on November 10, however since then there had been no update on a time frame.

According to Dr Jonathan Gribbin, public health director for Nottinghamshire, the local plans for rolling out the tests had been “overtaken by the national picture”, in a public health meeting today.

“It will be January before we deploy LFT. If we can find a way to distribute these in a way that benefits our community then they could be a useful tool”, he added.

The programme which was piloted in Liverpool was hailed as a great success by the government after thousands of citizens were asked to come forward to be tested, painting a clearer picture of the covid-19 data within the city.

The tests can determine whether someone has the virus in 15-20 minutes.

Covid-19 rates in Nottingham currently stand at 159 cases per 100,000 of population, which shows a significant drop in numbers from a month ago.

Dr Gribbin continued: “We have optimism for next year and a real awareness of what is needed for this month and early 2021.

“Across the whole of Nottinghamshire we continue to see an overall improving picture in all age rates and especially those over 60.

“But that is not without some bumps along the way and there is variation across the county”, he added.

“Without each of us taking care to follow the restrictions and making it our individual business to social distance then there is no guarantee for rate to fall. We must see a continued application of adhering to the rules.”

However, Dr Andrew Haynes, Medical Director for the Integrated care system partnership issued a warning: “We still have 30 per cent more people with Covid in beds than we did at the April peak”.

According to data, Nottingham has 30% more Covid-19 patients than in wave one. Of those current admissions – 9 per cent need ICU support and more than half need oxygen.

However, there has been a 20% reduction in admissions over the last 2 weeks.

The public health officials reiterated that the people of Nottingham must continue to follow hands face and space and no indoor mixing, social distancing outdoors.

As a final warning, Dr Gribbin said: “We’ll be heading into the deepest darkest winter months when our NHS faces the most pressure”.