Mobile coronavirus testing unit to trial new locations across Gloucestershire
By Matt Hall | 12th June 2020
Over the coming weeks, the mobile testing unit, previously at Oxstalls Tennis Centre in Gloucester, will be trialling new locations across the county.
An important part of minimise and manage any future spread of COVID-19 is the speed at which people can be tested and isolation measures put in place, should an outbreak occur.
Earlier this month, a new regional testing centre opened at Hempstead Meadow in Gloucester, offering around 700 tests a day. The mobile unit will mean hundreds more tests are available each day it is operating.
As well as increasing local testing capacity on the days it operates and making them even easier for more people to access, trialling sites now will help to ensure, if called upon, the unit can be quickly set up at tried and tested location.
The first location to be trialled is Cinderford Rugby club, between Saturday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 17.
Other potential sites are currently being explored in other districts, in particular the Cotswolds, to address some of the challenges people in rural areas face when accessing services. More details will be provided as locations are identified.
Gloucestershire County Council said that it was important to stress that this is not in response to an increase in concern in the area, its simply using available testing capacity and trying out possible locations and fine tuning the way everything works.
Sarah Scott, chair of Gloucestershire's Strategic Coordinating Group and director of Public Health said: "It is good that we are being able to deliver more testing on a really local level. The more we know about where the virus the more targeted action we can take to minimise onward spread.
"Thankfully the number of new cases in the county continues to fall as does the number of people sadly dying with COVID-19.
"Whilst the picture is an improving one, it's important to remain vigilant as the virus continues to circulate within the population. We must therefore continue to follow social distancing measures and carry on with effective hand washing."
It's important to isolate straight away if someone thinks they might have covid-19 symptoms and order a test. A test can be ordered immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 if people don't have internet access or cannot drive to a site - one will be delivered to their home.
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