More community testing venues open up

Published Monday 8 February 2021 at 12:04

More community venues offering residents access to rapid coronavirus tests are opening up this week.

The extension to Blackburn with Darwen Council’s SMART testing programme – aimed at people without coronavirus symptoms – sees new temporary community venues joining the list of other sites offering rapid lateral flow tests across the borough.

New sites open from today (Monday, February 8) are:

  • Bangor Street Community Centre. Tests available Mon 8th – Thurs 11th (9.30am-3.30pm)
  • Mill Hill Community Centre. Tests available Tues 9th – Fri 12th (9.30am-3.30pm)
  • The Energy Zone, Highercroft. Tests available Mon 8th – Fri 12th (9.30am-3.30pm)

The new temporary SMART sites complement the main hubs already in place at Ewood Park (11am-6.30pm) and King George’s Hall (10am–5.30pm).

A site in Darwen based at Earcroft Children’s Centre, off Blackburn Road, BB3 0AF recently opened and remains operational into this week. Tests there are available from 9.30am-3.30pm.

Testing at all of the SMART hubs is targeted at residents without symptoms who have to leave home to work during the lockdown.

With infection rates remaining high those living in the vicinity of the hub sites are also encouraged to attend.

Pre-booking isn’t required, visitors can walk in and give a mobile number or email address to register.

Rapid tests are aimed at finding people who may have no symptoms but are infectious. Also known as a Lateral Flow Test, the results can be given in around thirty minutes, as they don’t need to go to a laboratory for testing.

The Council is also approaching local businesses to take part in a business-focussed arm of the SMART testing scheme, with big firms such as Euro Garages already signing up to take part.

Together with the vaccination roll-out, increased testing is a ‘key weapon’ in the battle against the virus.

More information and FAQs.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

I’m pleased to see more SMART testing hubs opening up in our local communities to complement the ones we have operating already. This approach gives easy access to those having to leave the home for work as well as those living in the targeted areas with higher levels of infection.

One in three people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms and so can pass on the virus without knowing it, so I’d encourage even more people from the target groups to utilise these hubs, get tested and help us break the chain of transmission.

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