Drop-in mobile coronavirus testing unit to be set up in Earlestown

A drop-in mobile testing unit will be stationed in Earlestown on Saturday following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 2:34 pm
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 2:38 pm
The walk-in mobile testing unit will be available at Fairclough Street car park, Earlestown between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

The walk-in mobile testing unit will be available at Fairclough Street car park between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

The facility is drop-in so no need to book an appointment.

Anyone who has shown any Covid-19 symptoms – continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste – can get tested.

If you do not have symptoms but are concerned you might have come into contact with someone who has had a positive test it is recommended that you use the online referral system.

The mobile testing unit has been brought into the area as part of the response to the rise in cases seen in the Newton-le-Willows area.

Public health chiefs originally tried to bring a mobile testing unit to the area but was unable to secure one due to the current demand.

It Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the mobile testing unit was secured following a direct request to Health Secretary Matt Hancock from St Helens North MP and Shadow Home Office Minister, Conor McGinn.

The Labour MP intervened after a growing number of residents complained they could not secure a test in the borough, with Haydock Park Racecourse experiencing capacity issues.

Sue Forster, director of public health in St Helens, said: “We know that this situation is a difficult time for people.

“Through testing we can understand more about the scale of this situation and how the virus is behaving, which will help us to bring normal life back again.

“Mobile testing sites help us to prioritise, by adding additional capacity for a short time where it will have the most benefit.

“A time slot and the location of the mobile unit will be provided upon booking.

“Instructions on how to take the test and how and when people they will receive their results will be provided when taking the test.”

Coun Anthony Burns, cabinet member for public health, leisure, libraries, arts and heritage at St Helens Borough Council, said: “This mobile testing unit is a good example of how partners across health and care are working together locally to respond to Covid-19.

“It is so important to be able to offer testing for the virus close to home for essential workers in the St Helens area who are doing so much for us all, helping them to continue to support our local response to coronavirus.

“By increasing testing locally, we hope to identify those most at risk from coronavirus and take the next steps to defeating the virus.”

Motorists are advised to use Sankey Street and Tamworth Street car parks as an alternative on the day.

Alternatively, you can try to book a test at another site online www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested or on 119.

For more advice, particularly if you need support with food and medicine or if you need to isolate, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/coronavirus or call St Helens Contact Cares on 01744 676767.