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A mobile testing unit for COVID-19 has been set up for appointments at Shoebury Park in Southend.
The additional site will be open two days of the week from Tuesday September 29, on alternative days to the mobile testing site at Southend Airport, therefore increasing the amount of appointments which can be offered.
It is also in addition to the bookings only walk-through testing facility site at Short Street car park, being run by the Department of Health and Social Care.
It is important that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, a new persistent cough and a change or lack of taste or smell, book a test as soon as possible via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
You MUST have an appointment in order to receive a test at these sites.
Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care at Southend Council, said: “It’s really good news that we are able to increase the number of appointments available to people by extending the service to two additional days.
“I also think the location of the new testing site in Shoebury Park is good news for our residents in the east of the Borough, as they now won’t have to travel as far for a test when feeling poorly.
“I must stress that you must have an appointment to attend the sites at Shoebury Park and Southend Airport. When you make your appointment, you will be advised of which site to attend. The testing will take place in the parking area in Shoebury Park, which is accessible from Elm Road.
“Getting a swab test takes less than a minute, is relatively pain free and results from test sites are received the next day.
“Having more testing facilities locally will encourage more people to get tested, and it therefore follows that this may lead to an increase in the reporting of positive COVID-19 cases. However residents and businesses should be reassured that we have the plans and measures in place through our local outbreak control plan to tackle and control any spread.”
Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities. Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will only be advised to book a test if they develop symptoms in order to ensure tests are available for those who need them.
Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health at Southend Council, said: “It is important that we all remember that each and every one of us has a role to play in reducing the spread of the virus. It is still with us so it is really important that if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, you stay at home, isolate and book a free test.
“We must also continue to wash our hands properly and regularly, stay apart from those we don’t live with or who are not in our bubble, and wear face coverings unless exempt.”