Rapid, regular testing site to open in Tewkesbury
The link in Tewkesbury will be the location of the county’s fourth COVID-19 community testing site, which opens this Wednesday 24 March. Testing at this site is for people with no symptoms, but who still have to leave the house for essential reasons.
Regular testing, alongside staying at home until at least 29 March and following the rules of Hands, Face, Space and Ventilate all remain crucial to keep reducing the rate of infection and to protect one another.
The Tewkesbury site – at The Link Youth Support Centre on Link Road – will be one of four in the county, the other three testing centres are located at: The Friendship Café in Gloucester, the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and Miner’s Welfare Hall in Cinderford. Suitable sites for Cheltenham and Stroud are currently being explored.
The testing on offer uses Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) to help identify the virus, before it has the chance to spread. Whilst people are still required to ‘Stay at Home’, LFD testing is mainly for those who still have to leave the house for essential reasons, including for work or to care for others.
For LFD tests to be effective you need to get tested at least twice a week. Residents are encouraged to book a test at their nearest site. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to shield.
Sarah Scott, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Covid hasn’t gone away and to help keep life moving, we all must play our part in keeping cases down. Research shows that 1 in 3 people who get Covid experience no symptoms, which means they could be passing the virus on to others without even knowing it.
“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.”
Alongside testing centres and workplace testing, members of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of school staff or a child at school or in nursery or pre-school, as well as people who work in jobs associated with schools and pre-schools can also get tested. Testing for these people can be accessed via:
- A local community test site;
- By collecting a home test kit from one of the PCR testing sites: Hempsted Meadows, Stroud or Cheltenham walk-in between 1.30pm and 7pm; or
- By ordering a home test kit online
For more information on testing, including open hours and booking details can be found at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/testing
People who display Covid symptoms should still 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.