Covid: Country's first dual use testing site being trialled in Cheshire

A new dual-use Covid-19 testing site is being trialled in Cheshire - the first of its kind in the country.

From today, the local testing centre in Crewe will be open for both people with and without symptoms at different times of the day. 

The results of the pilot will help to shape future testing across the country. 

Covid-19 local testing site in Crewe Credit: Cheshire East Council

How will the site test asymptomatic and symptomatic people?

  • The site will be open from 8am-1pm for asymptomatic, lateral flow testing. This is a test for residents who have no symptoms of Covid-19.

  • From 2-8pm the Crewe site will undertake symptomatic tests - these are tests for residents who have symptoms of Covid-19 - commonly referred to as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests.

  • PCR tests are sent to local laboratories and results are received by the resident within a few days. People taking these tests must self-isolate until they receive their results.  

How does the centre operate?

  • There are 19 testing pods available at Crewe testing centre and the site has the capacity to carry out 500 tests a day.

  • The trial of the dual use site will run for two weeks from 6-19 April.

  • Testing sessions for LFT and PCR tests are split during the day therefore there is no risk of asymptomatic and symptomatic residents mixing.

  • The site is fully cleaned and disinfected in-between the morning and afternoon sessions and overnight.

Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health for Cheshire East Council, said: "It's an honour that our testing site in Crewe has been chosen to pilot this trial, the first of its kind in the country. The results of the trial will help to shape future testing facilities for local councils.

"We have worked closely with the national testing team to secure the best provision for Cheshire East and through dedicated and innovative working, we have been given the responsibility of trying a new, flexible approach to testing, one that will be of great benefit to local residents. 

"Staff are on hand throughout the appointment to give clear advice and guidance on what to do and where to go, in an efficient and relaxed environment."

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