A NEW walk-through Coronavirus test centre has opened in Bromsgrove today.
People who have symptoms can book appointments for the site at the Stourbridge Road Car Park.
The new centre is part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Testing is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste.
Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
The news was welcomed by Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire.
She said: “All of the new testing sites offer Worcestershire residents additional options to access Coronavirus testing.
“The locations have been chosen to enable people to get a test more easily.
We have plenty of appointments in Worcestershire so everyone with symptoms should be able to get a test.
“To get a test you must book an appointment, please don’t just turn up.”
Coun John Smith, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing added: “We are delighted these local sites are now coming into operation.
“They offer more choice and testing opportunities in the county so that everyone with symptoms can get a test.”
The Government says it is committed to continue expanding the capacity of the network of UK test sites and laboratories to make it even easier to get tested and reduce the time it takes to receive test results.
The new site is situated in the town centre so it is easily accessible without a car.
Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 500,000 tests a day and includes more than 600 sites across the UK, including 79 drive-through sites, 271 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five Lighthouse laboratories.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch.
“We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.
“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live.
“If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”