DARLINGTON-based law firm Latimer Hinks is showing its support of the town’s community testing scheme by encouraging its staff to take regular tests.

Some of the firm’s employees need to work from its office on Priestgate regularly to continue its offering of legal services and advice to clients throughout the pandemic.

Councillor Kevin Nicholson, cabinet member for health, said: “The council is delighted to have the support of Latimer Hinks behind its community testing scheme.

“We strongly recommend that all Darlington businesses take advantage of the town’s free community tests. By ensuring that their employees take an asymptomatic test regularly, businesses can help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to colleagues and customers without even realising.

“There are now six community testing centres operating in Darlington to accommodate for larger businesses booking regular tests. These include community centres in Middleton St George, Heighington and Firthmoor as well as the Dolphin Centre, which is open for appointments seven days a week.”

Natalie Palmer, Solicitor & Director at Latimer Hinks, said: “We are encouraging all staff to make use of the community testing scheme to help ensure our employees who cannot work from home and our clients feel as protected as possible within our office environment."

“In addition to ensuring our office is Covid compliant, we have been following all current government guidelines on social distancing and have minimised the number of employees in the office.

“For those who cannot work from home, community testing provides additional comfort that someone is not unknowingly spreading the virus.”

Tests are free and appointments must be booked in advance at www.darlington.gov.uk/testing/.

The testing facilities are only for people who don’t have Covid-19 symptoms. These include: a new continuous cough, high temperature or change to your sense of taste or smell.

Public health officials recommend getting tested twice weekly, especially if you cannot work from home or leave the house regularly for essential reasons such as essential shopping for vulnerable neighbours and childcare arrangements.

People must continue to follow the hands, face, space guidelines and the national rules on mixing with others even after a negative test result.