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New, fast Covid-19 testing centre opens in Chelmsford

January 12, 2021 9:29 PM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

NurseA new, fast-testing centre has opened in Chelmsford for those who DO NOT have symptoms of Covid-19. The centre is at Central Baptist Church, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LN - but you can only attend if you book.

Details on how to access the site and nearby parking is available on booking. This is the seventh such centre in Essex and offer the new and fast Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population. The tests are ONLY for people for who DO NOT have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.

Tests are by appointment only and bookings should be made online. Anyone booking should live in the Chelmsford district of Essex. You can book a test here; it's quick and easy.

If you're not able to book using the online form, you can call 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

You can also email: booking.confirmation@nhs.net and a member of staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Anyone WITH symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or here.

This additional centre has been established in response to the current infection rate in the district of Chelmsford now reaching over 1,000 per 100,000 population (according to the latest available data, released on 7 January 2020).

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex's Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Infection rates in Chelmsford are rising rapidly and local NHS services are coming under significant strain as a result of the new variant of Covid-19. A 'critical incident' had been declared with critical care and bed capacity rising as well as high staff sickness and self-isolation levels.

"This additional testing centre will allow us to test even more people in the worst affected areas where we continue to see worryingly high rates. Since the start of December, over 22,000 people have already been tested at the fast testing centres we have opened.

"Testing people who feel well will help identify the hidden cases in the community - people who may be unwittingly infecting others. If you test positive with one of the new fast tests, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test to confirm the initial result."

Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said, "Our hospitals are full because Covid19 is spreading so rapidly. Increasing the number of tests carried out is essential to identify infections quicker and so help reduce the spread.

"Many people have the virus but have no symptoms and are spreading it to others without realising. So I welcome this new testing centre in Chelmsford, as it will help keep others safe.

"Having an effective, and local, testing and tracing system is essential for the months ahead, as it will be some time before the vaccine is rolled out across the population."

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: "We are absolutely determined to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Essex, especially in the areas like Chelmsford where we are seeing cases continue to increase considerably as a result of the new variant.

"Targeted testing programmes are one part of how we will continue to tackle the virus, in addition to everyone playing their part in following the latest lockdown rules to limit the spread. An appointment to carry out a Covid-19 test will count as an essential journey under the lockdown rules."