New rapid, regular testing site to open in Cirencester
The county’s second COVID-19 community testing site will open in Cirencester on 17 February – the facility will use Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) to provide rapid, regular testing for people with no symptoms.
The new community testing centre will be located at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) – the site where Gloucestershire piloted its first rapid testing facility using LFDs, at the end of last year. RAU will be one of two centres in the county set up to help prevent people unknowingly spreading the virus.
LFDs are designed for people not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic). The LFD test, which should be taken twice a week, only takes a few minutes and results are known within 30 mins, which means anyone who tests positive, can take action quickly to help protect others.
Whilst the country remains in lockdown, LFD testing continues to be offered mainly to those who, for work or caring responsibilities still have to leave the house. This includes people who both live and work in Cirencester and the surrounding area. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to shield.
The county’s first neighbourhood testing facility opened in January at the Friendship Café in Gloucester, in a bid to lower cases of Covid in the city where rates were high. To date, more than 2,000 tests have been carried out at the Gloucester facility with 19 positive results.
Sarah Scott, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “LFD testing can help to identify cases of Covid in people with no symptoms – cases that we might not otherwise know about. Whilst a negative test does not 100 per cent mean that a person doesn’t have the virus, the test tends to catch people when they are most infectious, helping prevent the spread to others.
“It’s important to remember that a LFD test does not mean that you can stop following the rules around hands, face and space. We all need to keep doing all we can to help stop Covid in its tracks; to protect the NHS; to protect each other.”
Plans for a third community testing site to open in March in the Forest of Dean are in progress and details, including the new location, will be published shortly.
The Gloucester testing site is open 8am – 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The centre at the RAU will operate 8am – 6pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am – 4pm Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday.
You must book an appointment – you will not be tested if you turn up without one. Please note you will be able book a test at the Cirencester site from Monday 15 February. For more information on LFD testing visit the county council’s dedicated testing web page.
People who display one or more of the main three symptoms of Covid: a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or loss or change in sense of taste and smell should continue to isolate immediately and book a test at Hempsted Meadows PCR testing facility, the new walk in site in Cheltenham or at one of the county’s mobile units, using the national testing portal.