Second rapid testing centre unveiled in Weston
- Credit: Google Maps
A second rapid community testing site is to be opened in Weston to help identify residents in North Somerset with Covid-19.
Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, in Weston, will be used for testing, alongside the first site at Somerset Hall in Portishead which opened on January 18, and can provide results in under an hour.
Rapid community testing aims to find people with Covid-19 who do not have symptoms - allowing them to isolate and prevent the virus from spreading.
North Somerset Council’s executive for health stated that this was a vital step in preventing more cases following the UK's highest coronavirus death toll for one day on January 20.
Cllr Mike Bell said: “With research showing us one in three people are likely to have coronavirus with no symptoms, community testing to find those people is an important part of our fight to bring our case rates down.
“The more people who are unable to work from home during lockdown that we can get tested, the more likely we are to find those who are inadvertently spreading the virus.”
The seven-day case rate for North Somerset currently stands at 367.8 per 100,000 people, with 791 testing positive for Covid-19 during the past week.
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The authority's director of public health, Matt Lenny, stressed how valuable the tests are for key workers and those unable to work from home.
Mr Lenny said: “If you cannot work from home during the lockdown - testing will help you know you are not unintentionally spreading the virus into the community.
“It is particularly important if you come into contact with people who are more likely to get very poorly if they contract the disease, such as older people, or those with underlying health conditions.
“Finding more cases and stopping the spread of the virus through rapid testing should help to reduce the impact on individuals, families and our health and care services.”
Hutton Moor Leisure Centre will begin testing residents on January 26.
Both testing sites will operate from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.
To book a visit to the site, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting