North Tyneside’s additional COVID-19 mobile testing services will come to an end this weekend as they move to areas of the country with greater need.
The additional mobile testing units were put in place on 22 May, following a rise in coronavirus cases and the detection of the Delta variant (formerly known as the Indian variant) in the borough, but will finish on Sunday 13 June.
The Delta variant is becoming the more dominant variant across most of the UK and the mobile testing units are needed for areas with faster rising case rates.
Over 4,000 tests have been carried out at the mobile testing sites and during targeted door-to-door testing in certain areas, with around one in every hundred people testing positive. As part of the response there were also thousands of extra Covid vaccinations administered in the area.
The current infection rate in the borough is 74 per 100,000 people.
The council says there are still lots of ways to get tested, with availability at the existing PCR sites in the borough at The Parks Sports Centre, North Shields, and Coronation Street car park, Wallsend, for those with symptoms. Residents can also access lateral flow tests in a variety of ways too.
Ahead of the removal of the mobile sites, the council is encouraging people to visit them and take a test to minimise the spread of the virus.
The sites are located in North Shields and Wallsend town centres and in Shiremoor, next to Aldi and Costa, and are open from 10am-4pm for those without symptoms to get tested.
"Not out of the woods yet"
North Tyneside Director of Public Health, Wendy Burke says, “We’d like to thank everyone who has taken a test or accessed the additional vaccination services in recent weeks – and to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police and all the volunteers who have helped make this happen.
“Every test taken, positive case found, and vaccine given helps to reduce the chances of onward transmission and keep North Tyneside safe.
“However, we are not out of the woods yet and we continue to monitor the situation closely and will take appropriate measures if and as required.
“Everyone should continue to follow Government and Public Health guidance - please remember hands, face, space and fresh air; socialise outdoors; work from home if you can; get vaccinated; and take up the offer of regular testing.
“We’d really encourage everyone to make use of the additional testing before Sunday evening, ahead of the mobile testing units being deployed to other areas of the country with higher need.”