New Covid-19 Testing Facilities to Roll-Out in South Gloucestershire
New sites where Covid-19 testing can take place have been identified so that more local people who need a Covid-19 test can get one closer to home.
The Council has identified a number of new sites that are suitable to host Mobile Testing Units (MTU’s), similar to those which have been operating at the University of the West of England (UWE) campus in Frenchay. These have now been approved by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which means that testing could be available in more parts of the district.
MTU’s are allocated on a weekly basis by DHSC based on demand and availability. Having identified the new sites, South Gloucestershire will be better able to adapt as the situation continues to develop. MTU’s may be moved around to meet demand, however anyone who needs a test can access one via the portal (https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119) and the most convenient location available on that day will be offered. If a local appointment is not available, a home testing kit can be sent to your home.
All testing facilities will continue to operate on a strictly appointment-only basis. It is vital that if you need a test that you book in advance. You cannot attend a testing facility without an appointment.
We have identified additional locations in order to provide greater access to testing for symptomatic residents across South Gloucestershire.
Beginning on Thursday 19 November, MTU’s will be set up in the car park at Cleve Rugby Football Club on Cossham Street, Mangotsfield; and on Friday 20 November at The Ridings Car Park, Wickwar Road, Chipping Sodbury.
We will continue to work with DHSC to provide additional local testing capacity at locations across the district as testing facilities are available and to meet changes in demand.
You should only book a test, which is free, if you have one of the following symptoms:
• you have a high temperature
• you have a new, continuous cough
• you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
• you’ve been asked to by the council public health team, your doctor or other NHS clinician
• You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.
From Thursday 19 November the existing MTU site at UWE will be replaced by a Local Testing Site (LTS). This will be at a different location on the UWE Frenchay campus, but fulfil the same role and have broadly the same capacity for testing. Testing slots will be made available via the online booking portal and accessible via the 119 number in the normal way. An LTS is a more permanent set-up, not subject to potential weekly relocations and are designed to stay in a single location for a period of at least three months. There will be no drive through element to the LTS, instead students and members of the public who have a booked appointment will continue to be able to walk-up to be tested.