Plan for community testing in East Sussex

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Coronavirus alerts.

19 February 2021


This update is for members of East Sussex County Council and our partners

Community testing plan for Sussex


Proposals for a programme of community testing of people without Covid symptoms across Sussex have been submitted to government.

Our joint plan with the other local authorities in Sussex is for a programme of testing at both community pharmacies and specific testing sites, using rapid-response Lateral Flow Devices.

Much of the testing would be targeted at workers whose role is critical to the pandemic response or supporting communities. These include, for example, police and fire officers as well as many local authority staff and workers in the health and social care sector. Other particular groups may be targeted where directors of public health and other local experts identify a particular need. 

Up to a third of individuals who test positive for coronavirus have no symptoms at all and can therefore spread it unknowingly. Adding community testing to other forms of symptomatic and asymptomatic testing led by national government can help restrict the spread of the virus and reinforce the need for self-isolation when a test is positive. 

We have worked closely with colleagues in Brighton and Hove and in West Sussex to draw up a joined-up proposal through the Sussex Resilience Forum. The proposals were submitted to the Department for Health and Social Care yesterday (Thursday 18 February) and we await ministerial approval. If it comes, we plan to start work on these dates:

  • 1 March – testing sites and some pharmacy sites available to emergency service and local authority workers as part of a test phase
  • 8 March – testing sites and all pharmacy sites available to all eligible workers

We will update you with further details of the programme in due course.

Care home staff and teachers can already access asymptomatic testing through pre-existing programmes.

Testing for personal assistants is also available. 

A government scheme of asymptomatic testing for businesses with 50+ employees was recently launched

Anyone who does have symptoms of the virus should continue to self-isolate and book an NHS test online or by calling 119. 

Vaccinations in Sussex - latest update

vaccine update

Latest headlines on the vaccination programme in Sussex:

More than 130,000 people in East Sussex have received at least one dose of vaccine. This includes more than 90% of everyone aged over 70 and 88% of everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. Vaccination is now being offered to people aged 65-69.

For more information visit Sussex vaccination programme

East Sussex - latest Covid-19 cases

Stay Home

The number of new cases is continuing to drop in East Sussex. In all parts of the county the infection rate is well below the national figures. 

The latest stats show an infection rate of 78 new cases per 100,000 population in East Sussex while the rate for England is 138.

The figures reported below show the number of new cases for the latest 7-day period available.  For comparison, the figure in brackets is the number of new cases in the seven day period covered by the previous update. Source:   18 February, 2021

Table: Total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in East Sussex in the seven days leading up to 10 February 2021


           No. new of cases                

  Rate per 100,000 population






       101 (116 previous update)







               98 (124) 

            106 (134) 






               87 (117) 

            84 (113) 






               41 (54) 

            43 (56) 






               107 (140)

            66 (87) 












East Sussex

       434 (551 previous update)

           78 (99)






       77,564 (88,647)

           138 (157)





You can also see fuller context for East Sussex and commentary from the Director of Public Health in the weekly bulletin published each Friday.

ESCC help and advice webpage

Coronavirus alerts.

There is a web page on our website that brings together a range of information and advice regarding the coronavirus. 

Visit: Coronavirus - help and support

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