A NEW walk-in centre offering rapid coronavirus testing to workers who have no symptoms of the virus has opened in Leicester today (Friday 12 February).
The testing centre has opened at the Tudor Community Centre on Bewcastle Grove in Mowmacre and is the fifth rapid testing facility to be opened by the city council.
Leicester’s other rapid testing sites are at the Adult Education College, Coleman Neighbourhood Centre, Eyres Monsell Community Centre and Fosse Neighbourhood Centre.
With around one in three people with coronavirus having no symptoms, it’s essential that those who have to go out to work are regularly tested so that they aren’t unwittingly spreading the virus as they carry out their essential duties. On average, one in 25 tests carried out in Leicester’s rapid testing centres proves to be positive.
In a recent video message, director of public health Professor Ivan Browne explains why it's so important that those going out to work get regular tests.
“Even if you have no symptoms, you could still be spreading the virus – and a mild, or imperceptible, illness for you could be a life-threatening disease for someone else,” he said.
“That’s why we’re encouraging people who can’t work from home to get tested at our walk-in centres. By coming forward for a test, you’ll be helping us to track down the virus and stop it from being passed on. And if you test positive, it’s really important that you self-isolate for 10 days, and that your close contacts self-isolate too. That’s the only way we’ll be able to break the chain of transmission.”
The lateral flow tests are self-administered, with staff on hand to offer guidance, and are a simple swab of the throat and the nose. Test results are available within an hour and those who can’t work from home can get tested twice a week.
Opening hours at all the city’s rapid testing centres are from 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
More information about rapid testing for anyone who can’t work from home is available at leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus
The city council is planning to open one further walk-in rapid testing site so that there will be six sites serving the city – making it even easier for key workers with no symptoms to get regular tests. The new testing centre is due to open at Hamilton Library on Maidenwell Avenue in around two weeks’ time.
People with symptoms of coronavirus should NOT go to any of the rapid testing centres. Instead, they should stay at home and book a test online or by calling 119.
Anyone with symptoms, or who tests positive for coronavirus, must not leave their home for 10 days. Other members of their household must stay at home for 10 days too, and anyone who’s told that they’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus must not leave their home for 10 days either.
Although coronavirus cases in Leicester are slowly coming down, they are still higher than the national average, with the latest figures showing a 7-day rate of 299 per 100,000.
People are reminded that they must continue to stay at home as much as possible, observe social distancing rules when they have to go out, wear a face mask where required, and wash their hands regularly throughout the day.