New local testing site opens in Walsall
A new local COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Walsall (29 October 2020), based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus, Gorway Road, as part of the Government’s drive to improve accessibility of testing for local communities.
Test appointments are available to book for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Tests can be booked through the national NHS portal at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
The site was chosen to make it easier for people without a car to attend and is easily accessible for those on foot or bike. The site is not providing a drop-in service and all tests must be booked in advance.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, University of Wolverhampton said: “The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and the local community is our top priority. We’re pleased to be hosting the new testing centre on our Walsall campus, which will help support people who aren’t able to use drive-in centres to get tested. It will provide a vital service to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“We would encourage anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to visit the NHS website for guidance and also to access advice about how to arrange a test. We are supporting our students and staff with information about the importance of testing and continue to work with our public health and local authority partners to ensure the safety of our communities.”
Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said: “There is now a high demand for coronavirus tests in Walsall and it is vital we test people with any of the symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our community.
“Finding positive cases and asking these people and their household to stay at home and self-isolate is key to breaking the chain of transmission, so we can keep Walsall safe and try to avoid the need for greater restrictions on daily life.
“It is still vital that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms gets tested. By increasing the testing capacity within our borough through the new site, we want to make it easier for all residents who have symptoms to access a test quickly.”
The new site, which complements the regional testing network, will be open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, appointments must be made in advance by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
Those visiting the site for testing will be required to follow strict public health measures, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, practising good personal hygiene and not travelling by public transport or taxi, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
Anyone attending an appointment at the new walk-through site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely when they book their test, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Anyone testing positive for coronavirus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also be contacted by 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.
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Serco and will offer self-administered tests.
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