Residents of the Stokes will be able to book a rapid Covid-19 test from Monday (18th January 2021) when a ‘pop up’ testing unit opens at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.
The purpose of rapid testing (also known as community testing) is to find residents who have Covid-19 but are not displaying symptoms. Those who test positive can then isolate and prevent the virus from spreading.
Anyone living or working in South Gloucestershire will be able to get access to the tests.
In particular, critical workers and volunteers in roles which bring them into contact with the community are being encouraged to book a test. These include those who cannot work from home in the current lockdown as they deliver key services like childcare, transport, essential shopping, and looking after vulnerable people.
The Bradley Stoke unit will initially be open five days a week, from 9am to 5pm, for pre-booked appointments only. Slots can be booked now at:
The test, which uses a sample of saliva to look for signs of Covid-19, returns results within an hour.
A second pop-up unit in South Gloucestershire is expected to open in Kingswood in the week commencing 25th January and the units will be moved around the district over the course of the programme.
South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet member for adults and housing, Cllr Ben Stokes, said:
“Rapid Testing is another important tool that will help us in our efforts to counter the coronavirus. In every case where we can identify someone who is infected and make sure they self-isolate, we are helping to break the chain of transmission.”
“The lockdown will be crucial in helping to stop the spread, but we all rely on critical workers who have to be out in the community during lockdown to provide the services we all need and so I hope they will take up this offer for testing. Around one in three people who are infected with Covid have no symptoms, and so for every case we can intercept in this way, we reduce the risk of people inadvertently spreading the infection.”
“It is important to remember that the way we can all help control the spread is to act like we are infected with Covid and everyone, even those who receive a negative result must continue to follow ‘Hands, face, space’, follow the lockdown rules and limit their contact with others.”
South Gloucestershire Council’s rapid testing is for people aged 16 and over. Younger people should be able to access tests through the national schools programme, which is currently being established.
If your test result is positive
Anyone who tests positive using a rapid test must isolate immediately and take a further, confirmatory, ‘PCR’ test to confirm the result. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Information about financial and practical support available for anyone who needs to self-isolate is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/coronavirus
Anyone who gets a negative result must continue to follow the national guidelines and go out only when it is essential (or to exercise once a day), wash their hands, wear a face covering if they can, and stay at least 2 metres away from anyone not in their household or support bubble.
South Gloucestershire’s director of public health, Sara Blackmore, said:
“Anyone can spread the virus without having symptoms, which is why this new testing programme is an important new tool for us to identify people who may have the illness without knowing. With additional information we can take additional steps to help keep South Gloucestershire safe.”
If you already have symptoms
Rapid testing is different from the tests already available to anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus. People with these symptoms – a new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should continue to self-isolate and book a Covid-19 test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Update: Test centre now open
Added 18th January 2021.
Update: Rapid testing now available seven days a week
Added 29th January 2021.
South Gloucestershire Council has announced that the Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre rapid testing facility is now also open at weekends (as of Saturday 23rd January).
The centre is now expected to remain open until the end of February.
A council spokesperson said:
“This will allow us to meet demand and offer flexibility to people working in critical roles to get tested weekly at a time to fit around their jobs.”
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