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The opening times of the town centre symptom-free testing site will be reduced to allow for more outreach testing work, with the changes coming into effect from Monday 1 November.
The testing site, which is located in the former Bright House store on Sankey Street, will have reduced opening hours throughout the week to stay open during the busiest periods for testing.
The Golden Square testing site will now be open from 11am to 1pm, Monday to Saturday.
This change will allow for more outreach testing work to be done in local communities, where COVID rates are much higher and the virus is spreading at a faster rate.
There is a low uptake of testing in these areas, so targeting these communities will help to make a direct difference and reach find positive cases that could have previously been missed.
Recent examples include handing out home test kits to close contact services such as nail bars, hair salons and barbers, as well as supporting charities that work with the local community.
Community Champions are also continuing their work promoting and distributing symptom-free tests to vulnerable communities. This has been taking place in areas of Warrington that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and typically have higher rates, as well as promoting vaccine uptake and answering any questions about the virus too.
As the number of cases continues to rise in school aged children and some local hotspots, the testing team will also support our dedicated local contact tracing service to contact all positive coronavirus cases in Warrington, and to ensure support is available for people who are self-isolating.
For those who would normally get a test at Golden Square testing site during the previous opening times, they are still able to get a test easily, with over 19 pharmacies in the town centre signed up to community collect, where residents are able to walk in to a pharmacy and pick up symptom-free lateral flow tests to use at home. People can also order home test kits online via GOV.UK or by calling 119, where you can order the symptom-free tests to be delivered to your home.
Residents are encouraged to keep testing regularly to ensure they don’t have coronavirus with no symptoms, and as always, should self-isolate and book an NHS PCR test if they do start to develop any symptoms, even if they are only mild.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have worked to create a testing programme that works best for Warrington residents and reaches those people who otherwise wouldn’t have got a test.
“Although we have over 2,000 people regularly taking symptom-free tests every week, we need this number to increase in local communities with high case numbers in order to identify the rise in cases and reduce the rates we’re currently seeing.
“By changing our opening times at our Golden Square site to the times when most people get a test, we are able to use our resources it in a better and more effective way, whether that is through targeted outreach work, our local contact tracing team, or with our Community Champions.”