A walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened today at BHP founder-member the University of Birmingham, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities.
Open to staff, students and the local community and situated in the Sports Centre car park at the Southgate entrance, the site will offer testing for anyone with coronavirus symptoms – however mild – via a free, self-administered swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked as soon as symptoms begin at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119, and results will be available the next day.
Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including:
- Social distancing
- Not travelling by taxi or public transport
- Practising good personal hygiene
- Wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre)
Anyone attending an appointment at the new testing centre will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely and additional support will be available for vulnerable group and people with disabilities.
This latest testing site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including 73 drive-through sites, 45 walk-through sites, 236 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five laboratories.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people 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, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “Testing is proving an effective way to contain the virus so we are scaling testing capacity and walk-through centres to make it even easier for everyone to get a free coronavirus test.
“Our NHS Test and Trace service will contact you if you test positive or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus. I urge anyone with symptoms to book a test today, and anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow their advice to protect those around them from the virus.”
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Serco, and will offer self-administered tests.
Professor David Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and Director of BHP said: “Academics at the University of Birmingham have played a significant role in the testing landscape since the beginning of the pandemic and we are pleased to be able to support the national effort further by having a testing site on campus.
“We hope that the accessibility of the site will offer peace of mind not only for our staff and the thousands of students that make Birmingham their home, but for our wider community.”
The testing site will be open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
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