New walk-through Covid-19 test centre opens in Eastbourne
A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments in Eastbourne.
The centre in the College Road car park is part of the government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Testing is available only for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Health officials say that anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
From the start of the pandemic, testing has been prioritised for the most vulnerable, including patients in clinical settings and care home residents, vital health and care staff and to manage outbreaks.
A health service spokesperson said, “The new site is situated so as to be easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
“Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.”
Testing at the new site started on Friday (October 9) with appointments made available each day.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now includes more than 500 sites available across the UK, including 78 drive-through sites, 202 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts.
This, says the government, 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, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Sodexo and will offer self-administered tests.