Mobile COVID-19 testing in Blackburn

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There has been a moderate rise in cases of Coronavirus in Blackburn with Darwen. 

We are working with community leaders to remind local people of the importance of sticking to the government’s rules – or risk facing a situation such as in Leicester.

It is vital that everyone adheres to social distancing guidelines and maintains good hygiene when outside of their homes.

  • Stay at home if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands regularly using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Keep 2m distance from people not in your household
  • When meeting others avoid handshakes and embracing
  • Wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces
  • Avoid or limit large extended family gatherings inside
  • Meet outside safely following social distancing rules

About the mobile testing unit:

The new mobile testing unit for Blackburn with Darwen is open at Witton Park Academy from Monday to Friday this week, from 11am to 6pm.

Anyone can be tested – you don’t need to have symptoms of coronavirus.

This helps with ‘case finding’ – looking for people who may not know they have the virus because they don’t have symptoms.

You don’t need to book in for a test, but you do have to register beforehand.

You can do this online at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test – it only takes 10 minutes to register.

If you can’t do this online and have no one to help you, you can call 119.

Once registered, you will get a code that the mobile testing site can attach to your test.

Anyone driving to the test site at Witton Park Academy is reminded to keep their car windows closed until the staff ask you to open them.

This is important to reduce the risk of spread of virus during the testing process itself.

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health, said: “This temporary testing site is open to those in this area of Blackburn and also the wider borough for those who feel they need a test.  Sites like this allow people to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to quarantine with their household or seek treatment if needed. 

“Whilst we haven’t had the level of outbreak seen in Leicester and other areas, we are aware of our raised rate of confirmed cases according to recent data. We are therefore introducing a range of measures to mitigate risks in a proportionate and phased way – and the mobile testing unit is one of them. 

“We have also published our outbreak management plan, are stepping up our local prevention work week-on-week with vulnerable settings and are strengthening our communications with key groups.

“We are working closely with the local NHS to make Pennine Lancashire ‘second wave ready’ and are making plans to increase the availability of local testing for higher risk groups.  My message continues to be: stick to two metres social distancing wherever possible, increase daily hand washing and wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces.

“For settings such as places of worship, pubs, workplaces and schools, continue to follow the national guidance on making your spaces Covid-safe.  Above all else, we need to work together to keep Blackburn with Darwen a Covid–safe borough. It’s up to us all to stick by the rules and protect each other.”

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of the Council, added: “We are grateful to the majority of residents who have strictly adhered to the government’s guidance around staying at home as much as possible, and being sensible when they do need to go out.

“No one in Blackburn with Darwen wants to find ourselves in a situation like in Leicester. Please continue to do your bit to stick to the rules to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

The Council is working with key partners to remind local people of the rules:

  • Stay at home if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus
  • Wash your hands regularly using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Keep 2m distance from people not in your household
  • When meeting others avoid handshakes and embracing
  • Wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces
  • Avoid or limit large extended family gatherings inside
  • Meet outside safely following social distancing rules

You can register to attend the mobile testing unit online at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test – it only takes 10 minutes to complete.  If you can’t do this online and have no one to help you, you can call 119.

Once registered, you will get a code that the mobile testing site can attach to your test.  Anyone driving to the test site at Witton Park Academy is reminded to keep their car windows closed until the staff ask you to open them.  This is important to reduce the risk of spread of virus during the testing process itself.  People will be expected to carry out their swabs themselves, which will then be handed to staff to store safely and send for processing. It is free and is open to all ages.  You will also need to fill your details in for the testing staff to contact you with the results.  Traffic controls will be at the entrance and people will be directed by medical staff to the testing centres.

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