TWO new COVID-19 local testing sites will open in Cheshire West this week, enabling residents with coronavirus symptoms to book a test.
The sites in Winsford and Northwich will be open from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. They are walk-through sites and no parking is available at either location.
The Winsford site, ‘Queensway Testing Centre’, is located on Queensway and has begun offering tests. It is only accessed via the pathway which leads to the rear of Wyvern House.
The Northwich site, ‘The Old Depot Testing Centre’, opens on 10 October is located on Leicester Street on an area of unused land which was a former Cheshire County Council depot.
High demand for testing has stretched laboratories, which are currently prioritising tests from people who have symptoms. Only residents with symptoms can book an appointment at the new sites on the national portal at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. The symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough, a fever, or a loss or change in sense of taste and smell.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This is good news for our communities in Northwich and Winsford. The new sites are closer to home for residents, which will mean they won’t have to travel long distances to get tested as has been the case in some circumstances in recent months.
“It is important that residents who have COVID-19 symptoms go and get a test for their own peace of mind and, perhaps more crucially, so that they and their families can find out whether they need to self-isolate to protect others or whether they are free to return to work or education.”
Visitors to these local testing sites will be required to self-swab the back of their own throats and will receive guidance and instruction from staff.
They will need to wear a face covering at the sites and keep a two metre social distance from others.
Residents who have been in contact with someone who has had COVID-19 symptoms do not need to go for a test unless they have symptoms, or have been advised to do so by a health professional or the Test and Trace Service.
People who have already tested positive for COVID-19 and are now feeling better do not need to get re-tested.
The sites will be open for the foreseeable future on a rolling basis.
The Council has asked for six local testing sites in Cheshire West and there is currently a site open in the Little Roodee car park in Chester. The Council will continue to ask for more sites to meet residents’ needs.
A satellite testing centre is at the Countess of Chester Hospital, which provides swabbing for health and social care staff.