Covid Watch 98: Coronavirus testing in Shropshire – no decision on Ludlow testing centre yet

Covid Watch 98: Coronavirus testing in Shropshire – no decision on Ludlow testing centre yet

We have been clarifying current Covid-19 testing arrangements for those of us that live in the south west of the county. In short, you need to go to Shrewsbury to get a test or request a postal test.

Shropshire Council has been scanning the south of the county for a new testing site. No suitable site has been found in the south east area in and around Bridgnorth. Attention has turned to the Ludlow area and sites are being assessed. A testing centre in the south west, especially here in Ludlow with its good transport links, would be welcome but no decision has yet been made. There are several steps to be completed including on-site surveys, agreement by National Health England and arrangements for construction by Serco and operation by Deloitte. This will not be a walk-in centre. Booking will be through 119 and online.

Question to Shropshire Council from Tracey Huffer and Andy Boddington, 17 December 2020 and the council response

1. Where are the current testing centres located?

  • There is a regional testing site located in Ironbridge
  • There are two semi-permanent Local Testing Sites in Shrewsbury:
    London Road Car Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6PG Beatrice Street Car Park, Oswestry, SY11 1QW
  • There is currently one Mobile Unit allocated to Shropshire which rotates around the County depending on local need. This has nominally between Craven Arms, Whitchurch and Market Drayton. The current dates are: Whitchurch – 14th Dec – 19th Dec; Ludlow site TBC 20th – 28th Dec; Market Drayton 29th December to 4th Jan.
  • Shropshire have one more Local Testing Site which we are looking to place in the South West of the County. A number of locations in the South East have been assessed as not suitable but further locations are being currently surveyed.
  • Additional sites have been identified across the County to move mobile testing sites to in the event of an outbreak.
  • Residents of Shropshire also able to access testing in other neighbouring areas if this is more convenient

2. What support is offered for people without transport to get to these centres?

  • Local testing sites are walk in centres, near to town centres so those without transport can walk into the sites, parking is available nearby for those who do drive. For those without transport, postal testing has also been made available. In an outbreak situation, mobile testing will be brought into local areas and the local testing team from Shropshire Community Trust will support testing staff at workplaces, in localities or in peoples homes if needed.

3. How soon are test results available after testing at these centres?

  • This is currently up to 48 -72 hours, however the majority of results are returned between 24-48 hours

4. We understand that a mobile testing unit is in operation. How is its location decided? What would happen if there were urgent needs for testing in, say, Ludlow and Whitchurch on the same day?

  • The location of the units are based on need, they rotated around the County to increase access to testing sites. Location also depends on suitability of the site.
  • Should there be a need in different parts of the County, we can call on our local testing service in the event of a small outbreak or ask the regional team to deploy an additional MTU to Shropshire, this will depend on availability.

5. Will anyone who cannot or does not wish to travel receive a postal test or will this be restricted to people with specific symptoms?

  • Anyone with the three main COVID symptoms can order a postal test online through 119 or book into a local testing site, within Shropshire or outside of the County

6. What are the postal arrangements for postal test? For example, are they delivered on Sundays? How are tests returned from people who cannot leave home because they are self-isolating or for other reasons?

  • Tests can be ordered online 24/7. These are collected and delivered by Royal Mail. Completed test kits are collected from priority postboxes or from homes as part of the government programme. https://www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes. Kits are collected 7 days a week, before 4pm from priority postboxes across the Country and also from home addresses. Delivery of test kits is 6 days a week.

7. How long does it take for postal tests to arrive and how long after posting the test kit back do the results get communicated?

  • Up to 72 hours.

8. What arrangements are in place for people who need to be tested at home?

  • This is via the postal system or in an outbreak situation could be through our local Testing Team at Shropshire Community Trust.
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