'It only lasts a second or two": Preston's deputy leader calls on city to follow him and get a Covid test
The deputy leader of Preston City Council says he hopes that “as many people as possible” will get tested for Covid at a new facility set up to enable people without symptoms to find out whether they have the virus.
It emerged last week that residents in the city are now being encouraged to take a test even if they do not feel unwell.
It is hoped that the move will enable detection of so-called “asymptomatic carriers” of coronavirus who risk infecting others because they are unaware that they have the disease themselves – and so will not be self-isolating as required.
Cllr Peter Moss was spotted by a Post photographer in the queue for his test in the car park of the Issa Medical Centre on Falcon Street – a special site set up for people to be swabbed if they do not have symptoms.
He said that he wanted to “lead by example” in getting tested even though he has no reason to believe that he has been infected – and he also moved to reassure locals that the procedure was not as unpleasant as they might expect.
“We’re encouraging everybody to do this if possible. It will help identify people who may not otherwise have known that they have the virus – and it’s important that we do that as quickly as we can.
“The mantra in public health about how to deal with Covid is ‘test, test, test’ – and the more we do so, the sooner we can identify where the virus is in the community and the sooner we can stop it from spreading.
“It was all very smooth and efficient – the test itself isn’t too uncomfortable and only lasts a second or two. It’s certainly well worth it and hopefully we’ll get a lot of negative results back and be able to lift the [partial lockdown] restrictions as soon as possible,” Cllr Moss said.
Unlike the drive-through Covid testing facility which has operated at Preston’s College since April, there is no need to book an appointment for a test at the Issa Medical Centre. The walk-in service at the site is available seven days a week between 10am and 3pm.
Anybody with symptoms should call 119 and book a test at the Preston's College site.
The introduction of asymptomatic testing came after Preston was put back in partial lockdown earlier this month after a spike in coronavirus cases.
The latest figures from Public Health England show that 58 new Covid cases were identified in Preston in the seven days to 13th August. However, the seven-day rolling average has started to fall slightly for the first time in a month.
Last week, Lancashire’s acting director of public health said that he would not expect the new restrictions in the city to have a significant impact on case numbers until at least four weeks after they were introduced.