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Walk-in COVID 19 testing centre opens in Bradford

A face covering will need to be worn, and social distancing must also be followed at all times.

A “walk in” Covid 19 test centre will open in the centre of Bradford today.

The facility – the first its kind in the district, is based in Centenary Square next to City Hall.

It will allow people who have symptoms of Covid 19, but don’t have access to a car, to get tested, either by booking tests or by dropping in.

The centre will officially be opened at 2pm.

Details of the facility were first announced at a meeting of Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee on Thursday.

Members were told that as well as creating a facility that will be easy for many people to access, the central location will also act as a very visible “reminder” that the virus is still in Bradford.

It will be available for anyone in Bradford district who has symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature, a new cough, or a change in sense of taste or smell.

Strict infection control measures will be in place to ensure the new community testing centre is operated with the highest levels of public health safeguards.

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 are not allowed to use public transport so those attending the centre will have to make their own way there.

A face covering will need to be worn, and social distancing must also be followed at all times, when at the site and while travelling to and from it.

Council Leader, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said “We have a good track record in the district of testing because of our own local Marley Fields testing site in Keighley which complements the national testing sites.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to test all the staff in the care homes of the district because of the facility at Marley Fields.

“That has contributed to getting the infection rate down in care homes.

“Now, with this new site in the city centre, I think there’s an opportunity to broaden out and offer testing to other frontline workers.

“I’ll be asking NHS England to offer testing to bus drivers, train drivers and taxi drivers, for example and there will be other professions too. I would welcome a positive response.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said, “This represents another step forward in our ongoing work to protect the people of Bradford. By safely providing tests in a highly accessible location, the unit will make it far easier for many more people to be tested.

“The quicker we can detect the virus, the quicker we can support those people to isolate and prevent any further spread within the community.

“This initiative puts Bradford at the forefront of testing and meets the national aim of creating more accessible testing sites.”

She added: “This is just one of a number of new and more flexible initiatives we are piloting to expand our local support to the NHS Test and Trace programme.

“This holds the key to containing the onward spread of the virus, freeing up capacity in the NHS, and restarting the economy – while at the same time guarding against the return of a second ‘wave’ of infections

Bradford Council’s Director of Public Health, Sarah Muckle, said: “The site selection is also a very visible reminder to all of us that we are still living with COVID-19 – it has not gone away.

“We must all play our role by continuing to adhere to social distancing and regular handwashing, especially during the next phase of lockdown measures being eased this Saturday.

“The unit has been mobilised from an idea into reality within a fortnight and I’d like to thank all those who have worked so hard to establish it in double-quick time.

“Moving forward, we will continue to develop the site as we listen to and learn more from the people using it and the changing needs of the local area.”

The walk-in centre will be used for both pre-booked appointments, as well as a limited number of drop-in tests. Results should be made available within 24-72 hours.

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