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Coronavirus testing facility opens in Wisbech

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A new drive-through coronavirus testing facility has been set up in Wisbech today (Thursday).

There was a large Army presence as the testing pods were set up in the Chapel Road car park.

Those wanting tests cannot just turn up but must book via the national testing portal at www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test You can also find out more about who is eligible on this website.

Army members have helped set up a coronavirus testing facility in Wisbech.
Army members have helped set up a coronavirus testing facility in Wisbech.

A spokesperson at NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group told the Citizen: "We are pleased that new, national drive through testing facilities are being opened up across Cambridgeshire to make it as easy as possible for people to access testing opportunities.

"The latest sites are located in Wisbech, St Neots, Cambridge and Huntingdon."

In a statement released this afternoon, Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "We test for coronavirus so people get the treatment they need, and don’t infect anyone else. That’s why, last week, we dramatically extended testing in England to all essential workers and members of their household if they have symptoms.

Chapel Road car park in Wisbech.
Chapel Road car park in Wisbech.

"This week we further extended testing to all asymptomatic NHS and social care staff and care home residents, and to anyone who is symptomatic and over 65 or going out to work, as well as symptomatic members of their households.

"If you, or a member of your household, are in one of these groups and are experiencing symptoms it is crucial you are tested as soon as possible. You can do so by booking an appointment at your local dedicated test site.

"Booking is easy. Once you’ve entered your details on the portal, you’ll get a text or email inviting you to book an appointment. Tests on site are conducted in a drive-through style, with swabs taken through the car window. At some sites you will have the option to administer the test yourself. Every care is taken to ensure the highest levels of safety and hygiene.

"After you’ve had your test, results will be sent out by text within a few days and a helpline will be available to deal with queries. People who can’t go online can still apply through their employer.

The testing facility in Chapel Road car park, Wisbech.
The testing facility in Chapel Road car park, Wisbech.

"The test result identifies whether or not you currently have the virus, meaning those who test negative can return to work and those who test positive can take appropriate measures to recover and prevent further spread of the virus.

"While our guidance is that anyone experiencing symptoms must stay at home for seven days, it is right that if you are symptomatic and an essential worker, a worker who is unable to work from home, or over 65, you are able to leave your home to attend a testing centre.

"If you’re unable to get to a testing site, you can order a home testing kit through gov.uk We will be increasing availability over the coming weeks, so if you have not been successful in obtaining one, please keep trying.

The drive-through testing facility in Wisbech.
The drive-through testing facility in Wisbech.

"I have been chuffed with the response from businesses who have worked with us to help make this vision a reality and am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to this national effort."

Who can apply for a test

You can apply for a test if you are:

  • An essential worker with coronavirus symptoms;
  • Aged 65 or over with coronavirus symptoms;
  • Someone who cannot work from home and has coronavirus symptoms (for example, construction workers or delivery drivers);
  • Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can apply if they live with an essential worker, a person aged 65 or over, or someone who travels to work;
  • You can also apply for a test if you have a clinical referral from NHS 111 online;
  • Coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

When to apply for a test

You need to get the test done in the first five days of having symptoms. It’s best to apply for the test in the first three days as it may take one or two days to arrange.

You might not get a test if you apply it depends how many tests are available in your area.

Frontline essential workers such as NHS staff will be given priority.

Applying for a test on behalf of someone else

If you’re applying for someone else and they’re aged 13 and over, you must check that they are happy for you to apply for them.

What the test involves

You’ll usually have the option of taking the test at home or at a drive-through testing site.

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

The test is an ‘antigen test’. It tests if you currently have coronavirus.

The test to tell if you’ve ever had coronavirus (‘antibody test’) is not available yet.

See the NHS 111 online coronavirus service for advice about dealing with the symptoms of coronavirus.

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