A temporary mobile testing unit is now open at Mixenden Activity Centre to make it easier for more people to get tested for COVID-19 in Calderdale.
From Friday 17 to Tuesday 21 July, people will be able to get tested there if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and have booked their test on the national system: Get a free NHS test today to check if you have coronavirus now(external link). Access to the testing unit is by booking only, to ensure it can operate safely. It is open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and between 11am and 3pm at the weekend.
Testing is a vital part of preventing, identifying and managing COVID-19, which is still within our communities. Anyone experiencing symptoms of the virus(external link) must stay at home and book a test as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting.
The mobile testing unit in Mixenden is a positive step forward in the ongoing work to boost local testing capacity, and is part of Calderdale’s local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan to increase testing across the borough.
The unit will build on the successful work by Calderdale Council and its partner organisations to increase testing by more than 60% in the local area since the start of July.
The unit is run by fully trained military personnel as part of the national COVID-19 testing programme. Strict measures are in place to ensure the unit is run safely, such as staff wearing personal protective equipment.
Deborah Harkins, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“We welcome the mobile testing unit as it will increase access to COVID-19 testing for more people in Calderdale. Testing is a really important first line of defence in controlling the spread of the virus, which we will be living with in our communities for some time.
“Over the course of the pandemic, Calderdale has had a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases and is in the lowest 25% of local authorities in England. However, the rate of cases in Calderdale residents has increased in the last few weeks. As restrictions are eased and we come into contact with more people, there is more opportunity for the virus to spread.
“We are prepared for this as part of our local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan, which we have developed in partnership with the NHS and other organisations. We continue to work together to protect our communities from COVID-19 and prevent and manage outbreaks. A key part of this is to provide more testing centres across Calderdale, so that it’s easy for people to get tested if they have symptoms.”
Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, added:
“Protecting people from COVID-19 remains our priority, as it’s still a very real threat in our communities. We must all continue the great work done so far to keep each other safe and keep the number of cases as low as possible.
“Although the mobile testing unit is initially in Mixenden for five days, this is a pilot and we’ll be reviewing uptake to decide on future mobile testing requirements. We are looking at potential testing sites across Calderdale as part of our wider plan to increase access to testing throughout the borough.”
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature, a new cough, or a change in sense of taste or smell, please follow the testing guidance at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus(external link)
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a test online(external link) as soon as possible and should immediately self-isolate (stay at home) for seven days. Anyone in their household or bubble should self-isolate for 14 days.
We should all continue to avoid crowded spaces, keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, avoid face-to-face exposure, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it(external link)’ guidance.
Face coverings must be worn when travelling on public transport or in a taxi. It is also recommended that people wear face coverings whenever they are indoors with people who are not part of their household or bubble.