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Wolverhampton council to expand Covid 19 testing

Wolverhampton already has two drive-through test centres, one for key workers and hospital patients and a second for members of the public with symptoms of the virus, and work is now underway with the Department for Health and Social Care to expand capacity and increase access to testing.

People are reminded they should book a test if they show symptoms of Covid-19, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 119. All appointments must be booked in advance.

People can also use the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's Ask A&E tool to input and monitor their symptoms and speak to a healthcare professional via video chat if required.

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. Anyone in Wolverhampton who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Testing remains a vital part of our response to Covid-19. By ensuring everyone can get a test as soon as they have symptoms, we are better able to stop the spread of the virus, keep track of what is going on across the city and avoid a local lockdown.

“We already have two drive-through test sites in Wolverhampton, one at Showell Road for health, social care and other key workers and hospital patients, and a second at Aldersley Leisure Village for the general public which is already open four days out of five and will move to a seven day a week operation early next month.

“We want to improve access to testing as much as possible, and that’s why we are working with the Department for Health and Social Care on a number of options to increase testing capacity across the city so that we can provide more local access to those who need it most.

“We’re also looking to carry out proactive swabbing of people working in more of our higher risk settings so that we can reduce the likelihood of potential outbreaks and, if there is an outbreak, are able to get on top of the situation sooner.

“This asymptomatic testing is something we are keen to do as it will not only help us to target key areas, but also give us a better understanding of transmission of the virus and infection rates in the city.”

Meanwhile regular testing of asymptomatic staff and residents continues in local care homes and a national pilot project is underway to proactively test people working in high risk occupations whether or not they have symptoms of Covid-19.

Residents are reminded they must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Everyone must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2m, or 1m-plus if 2m is not possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in enclosed places where social distancing is not possible and, from this Friday 24 July, in shops and supermarkets
  • Stay at home and self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus.
     

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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