Using the 'lateral flow test' as pictured here from gov.uk - an additional 16 rapid testing centres for Covid-19 are to open across Suffolk.
This will bring the number of centres to 28 and help serve our more rural communities.
Opening over the next two weeks, the planned sites here in east Suffolk include testing centres in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Southwold, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh and Framlingham.
The centres use ‘lateral flow’ testing to identify people who may have coronavirus but who do not have symptoms, with the tests taking 15 minutes and results returned within the hour.
Here is a full list of the planned centres in Suffolk:
Appointments for tests can be made online via: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus or calling 0333 772 6144.
The centres are only for people not showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Anyone who is showing symptoms, or who may have been in close contact with someone who has, should not visit the centre.
Instead, they should ring 119 or go to the NHS website to book a test at one of the 12 symptomatic testing sites in Suffolk.
One in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms, so regular testing is vital in breaking the chain of infection and keeping Suffolk safe.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Suffolk Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said:
“Testing is a key weapon in the battle against COVID-19, so we are delighted to be able to open a further 16 sites in more rural communities across Suffolk.
“Whilst Suffolk’s vaccine rollout programme rapidly picks up pace, we need people who can’t work from home and who don’t have symptoms to get tested twice a week. It’s how we will break the chain of infections and protect vulnerable people.
“It takes just 15 minutes to get a test and you get the results within the hour. 12,780 tests have already been completed. Suffolk needs everyone to play their part.”
All 28 centres are listed on Suffolk County Council’s website, including their addresses and opening times. The testing sites are operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council (SCC). Tests should be booked online or by phone in advance.
Employers are being urged to encourage their staff to book regular testing.
There are already 12 facilities open, including at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, the STEM Centre including the Kirkley & Pakefield FC in Lowestoft.
Lateral flow testing involves taking a swab from the throat and nose to see whether coronavirus is present in the body. The person tested will then receive a text message giving the result within an hour.
Anyone giving a positive test will be told to self-isolate and advised on what to do next.
People are being asked to get tested twice a week, three to four days apart, as part of their weekly routine.
Anyone receiving a negative result needs to continue to follow the social distancing guidance as they may only be at the early stages of developing the virus.
This is in case levels of the virus in a person at the earlier test were too low to be detected at that time.
The centres are being run by contractors Commisceo on behalf of Suffolk County Council through government funding.