Bromley Council has today opened a second COVID-19 Rapid Test Unit at the Kentwood Centre in Penge, in an effort to expand its programme of targeted testing for frontline staff and the community.
This follows the successful launch of the first site at the Civic Centre on 4 January. Both centres offer lateral flow tests for those over 18, without symptoms, with results received within 30 minutes to a smart phone or email address.
A proportion of people are asymptomatic and yet the virus is found to be present on testing and so they are in danger of spreading it to others without knowing. Lateral flow testing aims to identify those who may be spreading the virus inadvertently because they have no symptoms.
Tests were initially offered to front line staff to protect residents they come into contact with, but as the second site opens and capacity is expanded, care providers, police and fire services, businesses, the voluntary sector and targeted communities in the borough, as well as other members or the public who are over 18 can book tests.
Bookings must be made in advance through the council’s website at www.bromley.gov.uk/rapidtesting.
A helpline has been set up to support those without internet access so residents can call 020 8461 7799 about rapid testing if they are unable to go online. Bromley staff will be able to assist with enquiries about the council’s testing programme, but for any other council related query, residents should call the council’s main number 020 8464 3333.
Colin Smith, leader of Bromley Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the launch of the initial testing unit at the Civic Centre has been so successful and would take this opportunity once again to extend my thanks to the council staff involved who have volunteered themselves so selflessly to operate the facility.
“One week on, we are now in a position to open up a further site, this time at the Kentwood Centre in Penge providing us with the additional capacity across both sites to test an extra 3,528 residents a week from Monday, on top of the existing testing centres for those with symptoms at St Paul’s Cray, Crystal Palace and Norman Park.
“This builds further on our hope and expectation that if those testing positive then do the right thing and stay at home for 10 days after being identified, it will significantly contribute to our chances of suppressing the virus locally and winning the vital race against time to roll out the vaccine to those whose lives quite literally depend on it.”
Residents should bring their smart phone, if they have one, and ensure they wear a face covering at the centre.
Those who test positive will be asked to self-isolate and book a home PCR test using the details below to confirm the result and continue to self-isolate for 10 days if the positive result is confirmed.
Even if testing negative, residents should still continue to follow the guidance, maintain social distancing, wear a face covering and maintain good hand hygiene. Regular testing is therefore recommended for those who have regular contact with others outside their household or bubble through their day-to-day situation or work.
This process is not for those with symptoms – anyone feeling unwell with any of the coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, continuous cough or a change in taste or smell, should book a PCR test through the normal government route online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
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