Two new coronavirus testing sites will open in the next few days to boost Dudley borough’s testing capacity.
The first opens on Studley Gate car park next to Swanpool Park in Stourbridge today (January 15) and offers tests for people who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus – a new and persistent cough, a high temperature or loss or change in sense of taste and smell.
The site will be the third walk through site to offer symptom testing. Others are Flood Street car park, Dudley, and Jackson Street, Lye.
The borough also has two temporary drive in sites for symptom testing, one at the Waterfront in Brierley Hill and one based at Himley Hall and Park. Further details can be found at dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus and all tests must be booked online or by calling 119.
The second new testing site will open on Tuesday January 19 in the sports hall at Dudley Leisure Centre and will offer lateral flow tests to people who are completely symptom free. Access to the site will be via the sports hall doors, not the main leisure centre entrance.
This will complement the symptom free testing already taking place at 30 pharmacies across the borough and at Saltwells Education Centre.
In order to qualify for a symptom free test a person must be a key worker who lives or works in the borough who have a public facing role but are unable to get a lateral flow test through their employer and for those in contact with people who are vulnerable such as shop workers, taxi drivers and those providing support in the voluntary sector.
People who live or work in the borough and cannot follow the ‘stay at home’ directive for one of the permitted reasons can also seek a test.
Tests can be booked online and you will get results in 20 to 30 minutes. People will still need to swab their nose and throat, but the results are much faster than the standard test which goes to a lab. For more details you can visit dudley.gov.uk. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
"I’m really pleased that we’re expanding our testing capacity in the borough, both for people who are completely symptom free and those who are displaying symptoms.
"It’s important we all do everything we can to stop this virus in its tracks and testing therefore remains crucial. Please get a test if you need one and follow the latest government guidelines at all times.
"Lateral flow tests only measure if someone is infectious at that point in time. If anyone has a positive result or a negative result and goes on to develop any symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and arrange a standard test at one of the borough’s testing sites."
Anyone who has a positive test must self-isolate immediately and follow the advice given by the local contact tracing team or the national test and trace service. It is vital that people identify contacts to help stop the spread of the virus.
Anyone who has had a confirmed positive result for COVID must not book a symptom free test until after 90 days from the date of the positive result.