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Rapid community testing site opening in Weston

January 21, 2021 1:15 PM
By Patrick Keating
Following the successful recent launch of rapid testing for the community in North Somerset a new site in Weston is set to open next week.
North Somerset Council's second testing centre, which can be accessed by anyone who lives or works in North Somerset, will start running tests from Tuesday 26 January at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston-super-Mare.
Council leaders are encouraging critical workers and volunteers who cannot work from home during lockdown to get weekly tests, which give results in under an hour.
Rapid community testing aims to find people who are infectious with Covid-19 but do not have symptoms. This allows them to isolate, taking the virus out of the community and stopping the spread.
As a negative test is only as good as the moment it is taken, it cannot be used as a reason to avoid following Covid safety guidelines. It is vital those who test negative continue to wash their hands, wear a face covering if they can, keep at least 2m away from anyone not in their household or social bubble, and follow lockdown rules.
North Somerset Council's Deputy Leader and executive member with responsibility for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: "With research showing us one in three people are likely to have coronavirus with no symptoms community testing to find those people is an important part of our fight to bring our case rates down.
"The more people who are unable to work from home during lockdown that we can get tested, the more likely we are to find those who are inadvertently spreading the virus."
Hutton Moor's testing site will run alongside the initial site at Somerset Hall, Portishead, and both will be open seven days a week from 9am-5pm.
North Somerset Council's Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, said: "If you cannot work from home during the lockdown, such as if you work in a shop, early years childcare, or are a delivery driver, testing will help you know you are not unintentionally spreading the virus into the community.
"It's particularly important if you come into contact with those people who are more likely to get very poorly if they contract the disease, such as older people, or those with underlying health conditions.
"Finding more cases and stopping the spread of the virus through rapid testing should help to reduce impact on individuals, families and local health and care services."
North Somerset rapid testing is for people aged 16 and over. For more information and to book visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting.