As schools prepare to open no-symptoms testing programme expands to tackle COVID-19

AS schools prepare to open residents are being offered COVID-19 rapid tests as part of the national roadmap to ease restrictions.

Anyone who shares a household or bubble with a school pupil or member of staff can be tested twice a week to support the reopening of schools on Monday, 8 March.
This testing is for people without symptoms of Coronavirus and adds to existing schemes for people who cannot work from home and people who care for a family member or friend who cannot do without their help.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “One in three people with a COVID-19 infection do not have any symptoms of the virus, so this type of testing is so important to stop people spreading it without knowing.
“It’s heartening to see infection rates falling in our borough – testament to the efforts of residents to do the right thing, follow the restrictions and protect each other.
“It’s also heartening to hear how well the vaccination programme is going, which gives us real hope for the future.
“But we do still have a challenge ahead and testing, alongside vaccination, is a vital weapon in our fight against Coronavirus, alongside following the guidelines.
“Please continue to stay at home, remember hands, face and space when going out for essentials or work, and take up the offer of testing if you are eligible, even if you have had a vaccine.”
There were 310 positive COVID-19 cases in the borough in the seven days up to 28 February, which is a rate of 90 per 100,000.
Anyone who cannot work from home or cares for a family member or friend can access regular testing for people without symptoms at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port, or Winsford Lifestyle Centre.
These asymptomatic testing centres are open between 9am and 7pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. No appointment is necessary.
Households or bubbles of school-age children or school staff can also be tested at the centres.
Alternatively, they can collect home test kits at the borough’s five Local Testing Sites between 1pm and 7pm daily.
These are located at Little Roodee car park, in Chester, Queensway, in Winsford, Sealand Road Park and Ride, in Chester, the Old Depot, in Northwich, and Wellington Road car park, in Ellesmere Port.
Test kits can also be ordered online. Full details of where you an access a test can be found on the ‘Testing and Self-isolation’ section of the Government website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Testing for people without symptoms is not suitable for people with symptoms of the virus, no matter how mild. If you have symptoms, including a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change in your sense of taste or smell, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test by visiting: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling: 119.
For more information visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk and click on COVID-19 testing.

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