The new Flowflex test kits – available from a range of locations in Wolverhampton including test centres and pharmacies – only require a single swab to be taken from the nose, rather than from the nose and throat as was the case with earlier test kits.
In addition, the testing liquid is already in the test tube – it doesn't need pouring in as before – and the test result is available after 15 minutes, rather than half an hour.
Rapid testing is important because around a third of people with Covid-19 don't have any symptoms of coronavirus, and so could spread it unknowingly.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Covid cases remain high in Wolverhampton, with over 900 people testing positive last week.
“We need to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus and so we're reminding people without symptoms of Covid-19 to take a rapid test regularly, and particularly either before they meet up with someone who might be vulnerable or after they have been in a high risk environment.
"It's good news that the test process has been simplified and can now be completed even more quickly and easily than before."
People can collect rapid Covid-19 home test kits for free from the Civic Centre, Bilston and Wolverhampton markets, all 3 WV Active leisure centres and from selected local pharmacies. To collect from a pharmacy, please register for a collection code in advance online at GOV.UK or by calling 119.
People taking a rapid Covid-19 tests themselves are reminded of the importance of recording their result, even if it is negative, to help trace prevalence of the virus.
Alternatively, supervised rapid tests are available at the Civic Centre (Mondays and Thursdays, 8am to 6pm and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8am to 5pm), the Jamia Masjid Bilal, Newhampton Road (10am to 7pm, daily) and at participating pharmacies across the city. Here, the results will be recorded by staff.
For more details of rapid testing, please visit Coronavirus Testing.
People with symptoms of Covid-19 are reminded they must self isolate and book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting GOV.UK.
Latest figures show there were 347.2 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 913 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of cases will likely be higher.