Thorngate Hall in Gosport opens as Covid-19 rapid testing centre

VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a new Covid-19 testing centre that has opened in Gosport.

By David George
Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 4:23 pm

Thorngate Hall in Bury Road is perhaps best known for hosting wrestling nights and tribute artists.

But now, Gosport Borough Council and Hampshire County Council has repurposed the site into a rapid community testing centre – much like the Guildhall in Portsmouth.

Vaccinations are open to all key workers who are unable to work from home or are not covered by a workplace testing scheme.

NHS Test and Trace have provided lateral flow tests for the scheme. Picture: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

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Lateral flow tests can be booked 24 hours in advance and appointments will last around 30 minutes.

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, says the rapid testing will reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the town.

He said: ‘Fast, free tests for people going out to work will help to reduce infection rates and protect vulnerable people. Testing people with no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly.

‘We need eligible people to get tested regularly to provide greater protection for themselves, their families and their work colleagues.

‘If you have already had Covid-19 or have had a vaccination it's still important to have these regular rapid tests because it's still possible to become infected, not have symptoms and pass it on to others.’

The centre will be open for six weeks and aims to test 480 people each day.

People will be invited to return for testing every three to five days throughout the six-week programme.

But the council is also in need of more volunteers to help run the centre, and offer reassurance and guidance to people coming in for tests.

Volunteers will receive a Covid-19 test before each shift and will get full training along with on-site supervision, full PPE, insurance cover and direct travel expenses.

They must be between 18 and 70, not on the shielded patient list, and have no underlying health conditions.

To apply and to receive more details, people can go to gosport.gov.uk/rapidtest.

Anyone eligible for a test can book an appointment by visiting gosport.gov.uk/gosportrcts calling 01329 824399.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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