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Leisure centre no longer testing site

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As Dudley leisure centre prepares to fully reopen for the first time in months and rapid testing is widely available, the centre will no longer be used as a symptom-free Covid-19 testing site.

The Dudley Council-run facility has been used for rapid symptom-free testing in recent months as part of the borough’s efforts to track positive cases of coronavirus that may otherwise have gone undetected.

The centre re-opened last week offering limited access to gym sessions and lane swimming and more facilities are expected to reopen within the centre as key milestones in the government’s roadmap are achieved.

To allow the centre to prepare to fully reopen to centre users, the testing centre based there will close on Friday April 30, with the last appointment at 4.30pm that day.

Dudley Council still urges people to get rapid symptom-free tests twice a week either through the use of free home testing kits, which are now widely available or at other testing sites including Saltwells Education Centre and numerous pharmacies and faith settings across the borough.

Karen Wright, director of public health at Dudley Council, said:

Our priority is for everyone, including secondary school age pupils, to have twice weekly rapid symptom-free tests and for it to become second nature as part of their weekly routine.
The number of positive cases in the borough is the lowest it has been in months and through regular testing and the rollout of the vaccine, we can work together to keep case numbers low and protect one another.
It’s important we give the leisure centre the time it needs to prepare to welcome back visitors and I’d remind people that we have ample testing capacity in other locations along with home testing kits, which give people the flexibility to do a test when it suits them best from the comfort of their own home.

The easy to use home testing kits are free of charge and can be collected from multiple venues, including participating pharmacies and other locations across the borough.

To find a nearest collection venue people can visit https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

The symptom free test is a painless, quick and easy throat and nose swab and results are available in 30 minutes.

Residents who have had the vaccine should also take twice weekly rapid symptom-free tests. All residents should make sure they upload their results to help further monitor cases in the borough.

People who have had Covid within the last 90 days do not need to use rapid symptom-free tests until 90 days after having the virus, as it could return a positive result. This group should restart the testing process once the 90-day period has elapsed.

All secondary school aged children are expected to test regularly at home.
Anyone who tests positive after taking a symptom free test must self-isolate immediately and book in for a standard coronavirus test.

Those who test negative but go on to develop symptoms should book a standard coronavirus test at one of the borough’s four testing sites.

For more information on symptom free testing and where home testing kits are available go to www.dudley.gov.uk/symptom-free-testing

For further details on how to book a standard coronavirus test (for those with symptoms) go to www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirustesting

For other coronavirus information including details on self-isolation go to www.dudley.gov.uk/self-isolation

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