Washington now has its own walk-through test site to help improve access to Covid 19 testing for those with symptoms.
The testing site in the car park of the Sunderland College Washington Campus (NE37 2NH) opens today, Tuesday 13 April and will be fully operational by tomorrow, Wednesday 14 April.
It is the city’s third Local Testing Site, joining the Commercial Road walk-through test site in Hendon and the Johnson Street walk-through test site on the University of Sunderland’s City Campus.
All three centres which are walk-through only, offer easy and ready access to testing for people without access to a car or who would rather walk than drive to a test centre and operate from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.
Gerry Taylor, Sunderland City Council‘s Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning, said: “This is all about making it easier for our residents, particularly those without access to a car, to get tested for Covid 19.
“The Commercial Road and Johnson Street Local Testing Sites have worked really well in terms of offering walk through access to testing and also more choice so it’s really good news for Washington residents to have access to a site closer to home.”
She added: “Anyone who has Covid symptoms should isolate immediately and book a test. It’s also important that their entire household also isolates until they have the results of the test and then follows the advice they are given.
“It’s more important than ever to stick to the guidelines as restrictions continue to ease with the opening of non essential retail and hospitality venues now able to serve food and drinks outdoors as long as they’re able to socially distance customers.
“So please get tested if you have symptoms and continue to follow the guidance on social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing a face covering in public spaces.”
Appointments for the new test centre must be booked through the national Covid-19 booking system – nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Testing at this site is only available for those either with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense or taste – or those who have been asked to get tested by a doctor, public health professional or by their local council.
Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test without delay through the national booking system and can expect a result within 72 hours. People without these symptoms should not seek a test unless they have been specifically advised to do so.
Those attending appointments at the walk-through sites will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, as well as the public health measures they need to follow, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face-covering throughout, including travelling to and from the testing centre.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for ten days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
Information on self-isolating and making a self-isolation plan is available at: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/selfisolation