A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has been opened by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) at Elm Road car park in Leigh-on-Sea (car park next to the Leigh Community Centre). The site is for those with symptoms to book appointments and is part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Testing is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. The government is committed to continue expanding the capacity of the network of UK test sites and laboratories to make it even easier to get tested and reduce the time it takes to receive test results.
The new site is situated so it is easily accessible without a car. 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 and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities. Testing at the new site started on Wednesday 20 January 2021, with appointments made available each day.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 500,000 tests a day and includes more than 600 sites across the UK, including drive-through sites, walk-through sites, mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five Lighthouse 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, asking 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.
Southend Borough Council has worked with the DHSC and its partners to get the new site open and operating.
A number of other testing options are available for residents across the Borough, including three rapid testing sites in Leigh-on-Sea, central Southend-on-Sea and Shoeburyness. These rapid LFD sites are available for people without symptoms. Appointments need to be booked online in advance:
For further information on testing, visit www.southend.gov.uk/gettested