Coronavirus testing sites in Lancashire reduce service due to national demand

The walk-up community sites affected are located in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Preston. Credit: PA

Operational hours for coronavirus testing sites in parts of Lancashire will be changing from tomorrow (Thursday 17 September).

The walk-up community sites affected are located in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Preston.

Previously the sites had been open seven days a week, but this will now change to five days per week.

Health officials say the change is due to a demand in the national system which has led to people using community sites designed specifically for people in areas of intervention.

From tomorrow, the testing stations will operate from 10am to 3pm, Saturday to Wednesday.

An additional testing site will also be in place for four days for students returning to the University of Central Lancashire who have symptoms. The site will be on Vernon Street Car Park from tomorrow - as well as Friday 18th, Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September.

Students requiring a test will be required to book an appointment online using the government's portal to be tested.

There are also permanent testing sites in operation at Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Walton-le-Dale Park and Ride near Preston.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire, said: "We know that people want to get tested, but there are restrictions in the national system, which are making it harder for us to offer the testing we'd like to do.

"Covid affects everyone, so we all need to do what we can to protect our communities and keep things more normal.

"It’s important that you get tested if you’re showing symptoms, so that we can reduce the spread of Covid. Even milder cases, where people don’t end up in hospital, can have serious long-term health impacts.

"By getting tested, you'll know if you need to stay at home so that you don't pass it on to people you know.

"If Covid isn't under control, then we could end up facing further measures which restrict what we can do. We all need to follow the guidance and protect each other."

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