Residents encouraged to ‘Test and Go’ as part of rapid testing offer

Published Tuesday 6 April 2021 at 16:56

Everyone in Blackburn with Darwen will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from this Friday, April 9th.

The offer is being made as part of a new national scheme announced by the Government.

Rapid testing for people without symptoms using lateral flow devices has been available locally for several months but the offer has been limited to those leaving home to work or living in the vicinity of any of the Council’s rapid testing hubs.

And now, as well as rapid tests currently available from the three established sites at King George’s Hall, Ewood Park and Work at Over Darwen House, people without symptoms will be able to get kits in order to test twice weekly in a number of extra ways too:

  • Order online via national delivery service
  • Community Collect – pick up kits in person (no appointment needed) from the rapid test hubs at King George’s Hall, Ewood Park and Work at Over Darwen House during opening hours or from Old Bank Lane, Blackburn College and Railway Road PCR test sites after 1pm. The Council is also looking to expand the number of local venues where community collect testing kits are available.
  • Pharmacy Collect service via participating local pharmacies

The Council is encouraging everyone to take up the offer and participate in free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing as it prepares for the further easing of restrictions as part of the next stage of the Government’s roadmap from Monday, April 12.

All non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and more businesses and services will be able to reopen and, as more people are welcomed back into the borough’s two town centres, the new message to the public will be to ‘Test and Go’.

People are encouraged to Test and Go before visiting the shops, hairdressers, outdoor hospitality and as other businesses and services reopen from April 12. The Test and Go call will continue at all further stages of the roadmap and easing of restrictions.

New signage will be going up at rapid testing hubs with a reminder of how quick, easy and free rapid testing is with no booking required and results available in around 30 minutes.

King George’s Hall and Work at Over Darwen House will be operating under new times of 7.30am to 3pm (Mon-Fri) from this week. The Ewood Park hub will continue to operate 8am-3pm (Mon-Fri).

Those leaving home to work should continue to regularly get tested too.

It remains essential that anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test result self-isolates immediately, as must other members of their household, while they get a confirmatory PCR test within two days.

As well as the rapid testing offer to residents, the Council’s testing programme for businesses and workplaces continues apace.

The local testing team will not only provide and deliver lateral flow kits and PPE but are also available to support with on-site training and advice on setting up workplace testing.

Local firms are encouraged to sign up to participate in regular, free testing to help protect their employees and stop the spread of the virus.

The Council also continues to roll out its testing programme for schools.

All secondary school and college pupils are given home test kits and asked to regularly test themselves twice a week at home and report results to NHS Test and Trace, as well as their school or college.

Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health, said:

Here in Blackburn with Darwen transmission rates remain higher than many other parts of the country and so I encourage everyone without symptoms to take up the Government’s offer of free, regular rapid testing, either via our three well established rapid test centres or through the new national programme.

As restrictions continue to ease, it is up to each and every one of us to keep this virus under control. Regular rapid testing for people without symptoms – as well as testing for people with symptoms – remains vitally important in keeping track of the virus and helping us to stop outbreaks.

With shops soon reopening and more services starting back up again, and as we welcome more people back into our town centres, please remember to ‘Test and Go’. Before visiting shops, hairdressers, when eating and drinking outdoors from April 12 and at all further stages of the easing of restrictions.

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