Covid-19 Test Centre Opens
A new Covid-19 testing site has opened in the West End.
The facility, built on disused land at the former Westgate Road General Hospital site, is targeted at local residents without access to a car, according to the city’s Director of Public Heath, Prof Eugene Milne.
Although nearby car parking is usually available, at a cost during the day, the Council has asked that residents with a car should continue to access drive-through sites, such as the one at Great Park, Newcastle.
Local residents will be able to book appointments for tests at the centre if they show symptoms of Covid-19 infection – a new and persistent cough, a temperature, or a loss of taste or smell. Bookings can be made online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by dialling 119.
Opening hours have not yet been announced, but are expected to be 9am to 5pm, as at the pedestrian-access Shields Road testing site.
The new centre will make it easier for people from black and minority ethnic communities to get tested, said Wingrove ward councillor and City Council Cabinet member for Public Health, Irim Ali.
“We know that members of the BAME community are at greater risk from the virus and this centre will help us get more tests closer to that community.
“Testing as many people who develop symptoms as possible is crucial for controlling Covid. It will help public health officials quickly contain outbreaks and, we hope, avoid Government lockdown restrictions which is good for local businesses and people trying to go about their everyday lives,” said Cllr Ali.
Test results, as well being made available to people who get tested, will also be fed into the NHS Test & Trace system set up by the Government with the aim of controlling virus spread.
“Where positive cases are identified, the NHS Test and Trace system should then identify those who may have come into contact with the virus to isolate and control any potential local outbreak,” said Prof Milne.
GH 21 August 2020