A NEW COVID-19 testing facility for people with symptoms of the virus has opened in Leicester city centre.
The city council has made its Phoenix House on Welford Place available to the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) to ensure local people have easy access to free PCR testing.
Testing at the site is available for people with symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.
COVID-19 testing is also available at Phoenix House for those asked to get a test, which could be by NHS Test and Trace if they’re a close contact of a positive case, by a clinician or their local authority, by a testing pilot or via their work.
Under-18s and people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to self-isolate, if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Instead, they are advised to get a PCR test as soon as possible, even if they have no symptoms.
Appointments for PCR testing at Phoenix House must be booked, either via the NHS website – nhs.uk/coronavirus – or by calling 119.
Leicester’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne said: “If you have developed a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, or you are asked or advised to get a PCR test, please book a test and follow any advice that you’re given.
“As we head into winter, it’s really important that we continue to control the spread of the virus through regular testing and by isolating positive cases.
“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work with the DHSC to ensure there’s a PCR testing site in Leicester city centre, and I hope that the Phoenix House facility will make it easier for local people to get the tests that they need.”
Phoenix House is the only PCR testing site in the city centre, now that the DHSC has removed its facility in Jubilee Square.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should not travel to the site by taxi or public transport and should wear a face covering when travelling to and from the testing centre.
Testing at the new site has already started, with appointments made available each day. To book, simply select ‘Phoenix House’ from the drop-down menu on the gov.uk website
Phoenix House is opposite the Tesco Express store on Welford Place (LE1 3AF).
Anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked for information about their contacts. This will help identify who they may have been in close contact with, and protect others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.
Rapid lateral flow tests for people without symptoms of coronavirus are available at the Fosse Neighbourhood Centre on Mantle Road from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, while free home-testing kits are available from most pharmacies.
Regular testing, even by those with no symptoms of the virus, is critical to controlling the spread of the virus. It is estimated that one in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms but can still pass the virus on.