About 3,000 people have signed up for coronavirus testing under a statewide program aimed at identifying people who have no symptoms, the New Hampshire governor’s office said Monday.

The Asymptomatic Spread Assessment Program (ASAP) is open to all residents of the state.

The testing program is “a community challenge meant to help the state identify asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 by challenging residents to go out and get a test even if they don’t think they have Covid-19,” Ben Vihstadt, a spokesperson for Gov. Chris Sununu, told CNN by email.

“The governor wanted to create a community-based challenge as a way to increase community testing. For quite some time, the state has had the resources to offer a test to anyone who wants one, and this was one way to encourage folk to go out and get a test,” Vihstadt said.

Sununu announced the program with a tweet on June 5 and followed up with details about his own testing experience on the social media outlet on June 7. “I have no symptoms, but it only took 10 minutes to book an appointment online and 2 minutes to take the test from my car. Easy. Painless. Done,” he tweeted

Anyone in New Hampshire can get a test by going to the state’s online portal and requesting one under the ASAP program, Vihstadt said.

The program was put in place to “help identify the extent of asymptomatic spread throughout the state, and to identify asymptomatic carriers before they become unknowing spreaders.”

Vihstadt said so far roughly 3,000 appointments for testing have been made through the program. 

Testing programs that look for asymptomatic spreaders of Covid-19, such as ASAP, are important tools when it comes to trying to control the pandemic, said Gigi Gronvall, associate professor and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Source: CNN

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