26 February 2021| | 3 min read
Second testing site to open for symptomless key workers in Newcastle
A second facility is set to open for key workers in Newcastle with no symptoms of Covid-19 to access routine rapid testing.
The site, at Westgate College in the west end of the city, marks an expansion of Newcastle City Council’s asymptomatic community testing programme.
It launched in January with a site in the Civic Centre which began testing staff in critical frontline council services who could not work from home, before being swiftly opened up to all key workers in the city.
The Westgate College site will also be open to all key workers who have to leave home to carry out their job. Like the facility already in operation at the Civic Centre, visitors will be tested with Lateral Flow Device tests, which return a result in as little as 30 minutes.
Appointments can booked from Monday March 1, and can be made here.
Cllr Irim Ali, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health, said: “Testing people without symptoms is a key tool for the continuation of key services and businesses in the city, helping to identify positive cases that may otherwise be missed and potentially lead to wider outbreaks.
“It is more important than ever that we effectively make use of the resources available with us to help manage the virus, as the Government has set out its roadmap to easing lockdown and begins lifting some of the restrictions we face.
“This type of testing will help prevent outbreaks by acting quickly to deny the virus the opportunity to spread throughout key workforces, and I would urge those eligible to access rapid testing at whichever site is most convenient.”
The Westgate College facility will be operational between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Find out more at www.newcastle.gov.uk/rapidtesting
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should not participate in asymptomatic testing and should instead book a PCR test at one the fixed testing locations through the Government website. If you do have a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, or a loss or change to your senses of taste or smell, book a test through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Asymptomatic testing does not remove or replace the need to maintain COVID-secure workplaces and practices and the need for everyone to continue with hygiene and social distancing measures – Hands, Face, Space.
The focus of community testing is currently on supporting key workers who need to leave their home to work – this will develop to reflect the government’s roadmap out of lockdown and expansion of other asymptomatic testing programmes.