Hampshire could get 11 new Covid-19 testing centres this month

FURTHER details of a coronavirus mass testing programme have been unveiled – as it is set to be rolled out across Hampshire in the coming weeks.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 2:41 pm

Up to 11 testing centres to identify asymptomatic residents could be set up across the county’s districts, Hampshire County Council has revealed.

New documents show, that subject to approval, the sites could open during the week beginning February 22.

Of the 11 sites being proposed for Hampshire, eight are owned or leased by district councils and three are ‘libraries’ owned by the county council.

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Covid testing. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

The county council has submitted a bid to central government for a centre in the Rushmoor district and wants to set one up in each borough or district council area.

A council report read: ‘Those eligible for this programme would be invited to undertake lateral flow testing twice a week with a three-to-five-day gap in a seven-day period.

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‘All sites would run between six and seven days per week with operational hours allowing for variation in working patterns across critical workers. The capacity of testing sites will depend on their size.’

The council said an example from the government guidance states that a medium testing site with 11 testing booths will be able to see 880 people per day.

‘The size of sites and the number of booths varies across each of the districts’, the council said.

As previously reported, if successful transport workers, childminders, retail staff, construction and maintenance workers as well as volunteers would have access to rapid lateral flow tests.

Those who test positive will be asked to self-isolate and take a PCR test.

Simon Bryant, the director of public health at the county council, said the authority is working at pace.

Talking about the scheme, Councillor Judith Grajewski, cabinet member for health, said: ‘I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

‘I think this is one more opportunity to trace contacts in our effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.’

The council previously said it hopes to hear back from the government by mid-February.

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