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New locations confirmed for symptom free testing

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Symptom free testing capacity across Dudley borough had a boost today as another five new testing locations were confirmed.

The five lateral flow testing centres will open this week and are based within places of worship across the borough.

They include Holy Trinity Church Community Centre in Wordsley, Lifecentral Church in Halesowen, St Andrews Church in Sedgley, St James Church in Wollaston and the Salvation Army Church in Lye.

Symptom free testing is also available at Dudley Leisure Centre, Saltwells Education Centre and 30 pharmarcies across the borough.

Although people are encouraged to book an appointment in advance, people are now able to turn up without an appointment and be tested at all but one of the sites. Saltwells will begin to offer this facility from February 14 from 11am to 3pm.  

Dudley Leisure Centre can only test people who haven’t booked in advance from 10am to 5.30pm every day.

In order to qualify for a test, a person must be an essential or key worker who lives or works in the borough, an unpaid carer, someone visiting care homes or who cannot follow the ‘stay at home’ directive. They must also be completely symptom free.

People will still need to swab their nose and throat, but the results are much faster than the standard test which goes to a lab. People get results in 20 to 30 minutes.

Residents who are visiting a loved one in a care home should have their test done directly before the visit and in accordance with guidance from the care home.

Essential workers who are not able to stay at home are being encouraged to access the lateral flow testing offer twice a week wherever possible. If booking in advance they can book the two tests at the same time.

Essential workers include people who cannot work from home such as those based in essential shops, childminders and nursery staff, engineers, care workers and construction workers.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

I’m really pleased to welcome the five new locations, which will give a big boost to our symptom free testing capacity. Testing is and will remain one of the crucial factors in reducing transmission and beating this virus, along with the vaccination programme of course as well as us all contiunuing to follow social distancing guidelines and remembering hands, face, space.
If you fall into one of the eligible categories for symptom free testing, please get regular tests and help stop this virus in its tracks.

Lateral flow tests only measure if someone is infectious at that point in time. If anyone has a negative test and goes on to develop any symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and arrange a standard test at one of the borough’s four testing sites.

Anyone who has a positive test must self-isolate immediately and follow the advice given by the local contact tracing team or the national test and trace service. It is vital that people identify contacts to help stop the spread of the virus.

Anyone who has had a confirmed positive result for COVID must not book a symptom free test until after 90 days from the date of the positive result.

To find out more or to book an appointment at one of the new testing centres go to https://www.1centralhealth.co.uk/dudley-covid-clinics

For more information and to book a test at one of the other locations go to https://www.dudley.gov.uk/council-community/emergencies/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing/symptom-free-covid-19-testing/

Anyone displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus - a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to their sense of smell,or are feeling unwell– must book a standard covid test at one of the borough’s four testing sites which continue to operate by visiting www.nhs.co.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Dudley borough is one of a growing number of areas where is it also recommended that people with other symptoms seek a standard covid-19 test to help slow the spread of the virus. Any adult who lives or works in the borough and has a headache, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no good reason, a sore throat, a runny nose or sneezing episodes can now be tested. Children with upset stomachs or tummy ache can also book a standard covid test. People in this group should not attend for a lateral flow test.

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