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Gloucestershire Business News

Third rapid, regular testing site opens in the Forest of Dean

Testing for people without symptoms is being extended across the county with the arrival of the third community testing site set to open in Cinderford today (Wednesday 10 March).

The forest-based community testing centre will be located at Miners Welfare Hall on Parragate Road in Cinderford. The testing on offer uses Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) to help identify the virus, before it has the chance to spread.

Gloucestershire already has two testing centres for people with no symptoms: The Friendship Café in Gloucester and the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. A fourth facility will open at the Link in Tewkesbury towards the end of March, with further sites currently being secured for Cheltenham and Stroud.

Whilst people are still required to 'Stay at Home', LFD testing at these locations is mainly for those who still have to leave the house for essential reasons, including for work or to care for others, or who are part of a household or support bubble with school aged children. Residents are encouraged to book a test at their nearest site. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to shield.

Alongside testing centres and workplace testing, Government has introduced a Community Collect programme for members of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or pupils to access regular testing. Secondary school pupils will also test twice weekly to help keep Covid out of the classroom.

Sarah Scott, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "Getting a regular, rapid test can help prevent the spread of Covid and get us moving more quickly back to a more normal life.

"Whilst a negative test does not 100 per cent mean that a person doesn't have the virus, the test tends to catch people when they are most infectious, helping prevent the spread to others. It's important to remember that a LFD test does not mean that you can stop following the rules around hands, face, space and ventilate."

For more information on testing, including open hours and booking details can be found at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/testing.

People who display Covid symptoms should still isolate immediately and book a test at Hempsted Meadows PCR testing facility, the new walk in sites in Cheltenham and Stroud or at one of the county's mobile units, using the national testing portal.

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