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Local rapid Covid-19 testing to be rolled out in Nuneaton and Bedworth

Published on Monday, 14th December 2020

Locally led testing for people without coronavirus symptoms is set to be rolled out in Nuneaton and Bedworth this week with the aim of protecting those most at risk.

The test centres will be in addition to the testing facility at Water Orton, which opened to the public on Tuesday 8 December. Those using the site will be tested using fast-turnaround lateral flow test kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace in a bid to identify undiagnosed cases and stop people 'unwittingly spreading the virus'.

The centres, which are being delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, and a network including volunteers, aims to help us work towards returning life to as normal as possible.

The tests will be available for those without symptoms of Covid-19 from Tuesday 15 December at the Saunders Club in Bedworth, and Wednesday 16 December in a temporary site at Nuneaton Fire Station. This will then move to the Reform Church in Nuneaton a week later once the site is confirmed.  

The tests are available for booking between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The service uses the fast turnaround lateral flow test kits, which can deliver results in around an hour.

Booking for Bedworth: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/bedworth-covid-community-testing-32013910597

Booking for Nuneaton: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/nuneaton-covid-community-testing-32013932751

Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of people without symptoms, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus and break the chains of transmission.

Please note, only people without Covid-19 symptoms should book a test. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell – must self-isolate and book a test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 as usual.

Talking about the test facility in Nuneaton and Bedworth, Director of Public Health at Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said:

“Opening two sites in one week is a big step forward in the fight against Covid-19 here in Warwickshire. The testing facilities are just one part in our armoury against the virus and I want to use it to our fullest advantage. 

“Although figures are reducing across the county, they are still far higher than we would like them to be. By testing people who don’t have symptoms, we are hoping to identify those who are not aware that they have the virus and may be unwittingly spreading it to other people - including friends, loved ones and work colleagues. By breaking the chain of transmission and picking up those who are asymptomatic, we hope that we will reduce the spread of the virus and protect those who are most at risk.

“The tests are really simple to do using a swab from your nose and mouth, and you will be supported throughout the process by the test centre staff. Results are quick and should you test positive, help and advice is available at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus/coronavirus-services-support/1. Only by working together can we make a difference, so please play your part, support your community and go along to your nearest testing facility and get a free test.”

Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Councillor Julie Jackson continued:

"Testing people without symptoms is crucial to reducing the cases of Covid-19 and I am really pleased to welcome the new testing facility into the borough.

“Asymptomatic testing is just one element of the work we are undertaking in partnership with Warwickshire County Council Public Health and key partners to tackle the spread of the virus within our communities. The new testing facility is a step forward, but I would still urge residents to continue to follow the rules of hands, space, face, even following a negative test and ensure that they keep household mixing to a minimum.

“The tests are available for booking now, so I would urge all residents to take full advantage of the free service.”

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

“We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.

“Innovations such as lateral flow testing holds the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.

“I’m delighted that Warwickshire County Council along with colleagues at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council are working with us to pilot the latest technology in Nuneaton and Bedworth, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, both in helping target the virus locally, and helping find ways to roll this technology out further soon.”

 Additional tests sites are also being planned for the Warwick District, Rugby and Stratford. For Covid advice and support, please visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk