New fast Covid-19 testing centre opens in Tendring

New fast Covid-19 testing centre opens in Tendring

From today, Thursday 14 January 2021, a new fast testing centre opens in Tendring for those who DO NOT have symptoms of Covid-19.

The new Tendring Testing Centre is situated at Long Meadows Community Centre, Long Meadows, Harwich CO12 4US.

This testing centre joins the line-up of existing centres in Rayleigh at the Megacentre, the Civic Centre in Harlow, the Nightingale Centre in Brentwood, the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, The Place Leisure Centre in Pitsea, Theydon Bois Village Hall in Epping and Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford.

These centres are among the first of their kind in the region, offering new and fast Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population. The tests are ONLY for people for who DO NOT have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.

Tests are by appointment only and residents living in the Tendring district of Essex can book a test online.

Booking online should be the quickest and most effective option for residents seeking a Lateral Flow Test.

If individuals are not able to book using the online form, they can call 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

Residents can also email booking.confirmation@nhs.net and a member of staff will get in contact to arrange an appointment.

Anyone WITH symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or at gov.uk.

This additional centre has been established in response to the current infection rate in the district of Tendring reaching 1218.3 per 100,000 (according to the latest available data).

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Infection rates in Tendring are rising rapidly and local NHS services are coming under significant strain as a result of the new variant of Covid-19. A ‘critical incident’ had been declared across the county, with critical care and bed capacity rising as well as high staff sickness and self-isolation levels.

“This additional testing centre will allow us to test even more people in the worst affected areas where we continue to see worryingly high rates. Thousands of people have already been tested at the fast testing centres we have opened.

“Testing people who feel well will help to identify the hidden cases in the community – people who may be unwittingly infecting others. If you test positive following one of the new fast tests, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test to confirm the initial result. If positive, you will also be required to disclose any close contacts to the local or national contact tracing service.

“It is absolutely vital that in addition to these efforts, everyone continues to adhere to the appropriate Covid-19 guidance. This includes working from home wherever possible and socially distancing, particularly in indoor settings that are permitted to remain open, such as essential shops and supermarkets. Behave as if those around you have Covid-19 and maintain a two-metre distance from anyone outside of your household or support bubble at all times.”

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “We are absolutely determined to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Essex, especially in the areas like Tendring where we are seeing cases continue to increase significantly as a result of the new variant.

“Targeted testing programmes are one part of how we will continue to tackle the virus, in addition to everyone playing their part in following the latest lockdown rules to limit the spread. An appointment to carry out a Covid-19 test will count as an essential journey under the lockdown rules.”

Cllr Lynda McWilliams, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Partnerships, said: “Testing is a really important strand of the response to Covid-19; by identifying people without symptoms who have the virus, and getting them to self-isolate, we can control the spread and pandemic.

“The addition of a rapid testing site in Tendring is a welcome boost to the PCR swab collection tests we are offering at Clacton Leisure Centre, and the existing mobile testing sites for those with symptoms, and I would really encourage people to go and get tested.”

Last updated 14 January 2021