Chorley's new Covid test centre is open

A new Covid testing facility has opened in Chorley.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:15 pm

The unit has been constructed at the former Woodlands Conference Centre on Southport Road and is open, by appointment only, to people who are displaying coronavirus symptoms - however mild they may be.

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The site has been used periodically for pop-up testing throughout the pandemic, but the new centre is expected to be in place for around three months.

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Woodlands Conference Centre site on Southport Road - the location of Chorley's new Covid testing centre (imnage: Google Streetview)

The borough is the latest in Lancashire to receive a semi-permanent local testing station, as part of a plan to provide at least one of the facilities in every district by the end of the year. A similar unit was set up for South Ribble residents at the borough council’s headquarters in Leyland last month.

Chorley’s walk-in unit opened on Wednesday afternoon and will be open from 10am until 5pm on Thursday (3rd December). As of Friday (4th December), it will operate from 8am to 8pm each day, with appointments to be booked via the national Covid testing system.

Council leader Alistair Bradley described the development as “welcome news”.

“This will allow more tests to be carried out and provide residents with easy access to a local test centre, which is essential in helping stop the spread of the virus.

“It is vital that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, has a test so that they can protect those around them and protect our community. Tests can be booked through the NHS website.

“Whether displaying symptoms or not, we must all continue to follow the government guidelines to keep each other safe.

“We are also looking to ensure that the NHS operates a traffic marshalling system within the site area, as we are aware that, at school times, traffic in the area can get congested and we want to further avoid inconveniencing local residents.

“Everyone needs to do their bit as we fight Covid-19 and as has been pointed out many times, ‘we are all in this together’,” Cllr Bradley said.

Nearby residents have received a letter reassuring them that "every precaution" has been taken to maintain safety at the site.

Lancashire is expecting to receive some form of government support to boost mass testing after being placed under the toughest Tier 3 Covid restrictions last week.

The county has already begun to roll out its own targeted testing programme for people working in key frontline services - even if they do not have symptoms. The invite-only programme has started with day care service staff and the fire service - and will be expanded to schools and other emergency services.

Under that arrangement, there will eventually be sufficient capacity to test 10 percent of the county’s 1.5 million population each week.

HOW TO BOOK A TEST

People with symptoms can book a test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test