A second Community Testing Centre, offering rapid coronavirus tests that provide results within the hour, is opening this Wednesday, 17 February. This one in Barnstaple.
It is setting up in the car park at the town’s Taw View, Civic Centre, on North Walk road, and will be open 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, with extended hours 7am to 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
It will provide lateral flow tests for anyone who leaves the house to work or volunteer, and who comes into contact with others.
The purpose of community testing is to identify people likely to have the virus, so that those testing negative can continue their day while still following public health rules. Anyone testing positive is instructed to go home and self-isolate.
The tests are for people who may not know they are carrying the virus. One in three people with coronavirus do not show any symptoms and could be going about their day passing it to others unknowingly.
People who can’t work from home and who are in contact with others regularly are encouraged to take these quick tests twice a week to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
Testing sites are open now at County Hall in Exeter, with the Barnstaple site opening this Wednesday. More are planned in locations including Newton Abbot, Tiverton, Honiton, Exmouth, Axminster, Okehampton, Tavistock and Ivybridge. Most will be fixed sites, but some will be mobile facilities that can reach rural parts of the county.
Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said:
“If you leave the house to work or volunteer and your work or role involves contact with other people, we encourage you to take these quick and simple tests twice a week to identify whether you are carrying the virus and potentially giving it to others.
“Your results are back with you within the hour. If you test positive, you’ll be asked to self-isolate for ten days. If you’re negative, you can continue your day while still adhering to public health rules – keep your social distance, wear a face covering when indoors in a public space, and wash your hands regularly.”
Community Testing Centres are for people who are not showing any symptoms and who aren’t already accessing regular testing, through their employer for example. Anyone showing symptoms of having the virus should apply to the national testing programme.
To book a rapid test and to find out more about Community Testing in Devon, visit devon.cc/testing