New site found for testing hub away from high street

new site found for testing hub away from high street - New site found for testing hub away from high street

A rapid covid testing hub is to open in Nailsea today.

The new unit will open from 3pm at the Scotch Horn Leisure Centre.

Initially it had been hoped to use 65 High Street in the town centre as the base for the new station, but this proved impractical.

A council spokesman said: “We wanted to open a testing site in the centre of Nailsea, but the final site inspection at 65 High Street revealed challenges with being able to implement the specific infection control measures needed to run a testing service and we have been unable to overcome them at this particular venue.

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“Everyone who had booked for this site has been contacted and had their test rescheduled.

“We are also now able to offer testing to anyone who cannot work from home twice a week.”

The opening of the Nailsea site brings the number of rapid testing hubs to three across North Somerset, with others at Somerset Hall in Portishead and Hutton Moor Leisure Centre in Weston-super-Mare.

Opening hours at the three sites will also be extended to operating seven days a week from 8.30am to 5pm.

There will also be evening testing available until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone unable to work from home who does not have symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested weekly at one of the three centres.

The district also has three mobile testing units at Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare, Castlewood in Clevedon and at Bristol Airport.

The new testing facility comes at the same time as North Somerset is seeing the number of coronavirus cases fall .

Rapid testing, which takes around five minutes to do and gives results in under an hour, helps identify people who are infectious with Covid-19 but do not have symptoms.

This allows them to isolate, taking the virus out of the community and stopping the spread.

Anyone who lives or works in North Somerset can get tested, with critical workers and volunteers who cannot work from home during lockdown encouraged to get tested at least once a week.

North Somerset Council’s Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, said: “Alongside restrictions and vaccinations, testing is another important element in our continuing fight against coronavirus .

“It can be a very worrying time if you are unable to work from home, when we are being asked to stay there as much as possible, so getting yourself tested will help you know you are doing all you can to protect yourself and your family from the infection.”

As a negative test is only as good as the moment it is taken, it cannot be used as a reason to avoid following Covid safety guidelines.

It is vital those who test negative continue to wash their hands, wear a face covering if they can, keep at least two metres away from anyone not in their household or social bubble, and follow lockdown rules.

North Somerset rapid testing is for people aged 16 and over.

For more information and to book visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting .

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