BEING at the heart of the local community is of crucial importance to Dorchester Rugby Club and it is hugely proud to have been asked to host be the local test site for the county town, writes Tim Beavis.

Surcouf Park is currently acting as a test site for Public Health Dorset’s rapid community testing program.

Public Health Dorset, on behalf of BCP and Dorset councils, has had funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to set up a Dorset Community Rapid Testing Service to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Around one in three people who are infected with Covid-19 are asymptomatic so could be spreading the virus without knowing it.

Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly and break chains of transmission.

Asymptomatic testing using lateral flow devices has already been rolled out nationally to NHS frontline staff, care home staff and residents, domiciliary care workers, schools and some commercial organisations.

In January, Dorset and BCP Councils began targeted asymptomatic testing to frontline council workers who cannot work from home and who are working to keep essential services going.

Any business or organisation, charity to voluntary organisation in Dorset open under current Covid-19 government guidelines and employs fewer than 250 people, those self-employed or unpaid carers can now access weekly testing.

This should be undertaken at least once a week but ideally twice for a minimum of six weeks.

Access to this service is for people who do not already have access to asymptomatic testing.

Club chairman Tony Foot commented he was very happy to see the club helping the local community and doing its bit to help the town, as we follow the route out of the pandemic.

Elsewhere, former Dorchester fly-half Orlando Bailey made his first start for Bath in a 36-33 Gallagher Premiership defeat at London Irish on Saturday.