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Wednesday 23 September 2020

Crewe gets first Covid-19 Local Testing Site

A dedicated walk-through Covid-19 testing site is to be deployed in Crewe.

The semi-permanent site, known as a Local Testing Site (LTS), is being created in Crewe and will be ready for public use from 1 October. This is one of a number of such sites being set up across Cheshire and Merseyside.

The LTS will offer bespoke walk-through appointments, to improve access for the whole community, especially those who do not have access to a car or should not be using public transport because they have symptoms.

LTSs are designed to supplement existing testing facilities such as regional and mobile testing units. Unlike mobile testing units, which are often deployed for around four days, the LTS will be open for several months to ensure that accessible testing is continually available to people within their communities.

The site is being set-up at Chester Street car park and users will be asked to self-swab when attending. Appointments must be booked in advance, no walk-up appointments will be available.

Dr Matt Tyrer, acting director of public health for Cheshire East Council, said: “We have been working very closely with colleagues in the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside and the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that we have the most accessible testing facilities for the people of Cheshire East, when and where they need them.

Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for public health said “I am delighted that we have been able to secure this LTS facility so our local residents and workers will have even greater access to testing should they feel unwell with Covid-19 symptoms.

Regional Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley, said: “This additional capacity is great for Cheshire East and the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.

“Having more semi-permanent LTSs in Cheshire and Merseyside means that we will be able to use other testing facilities more flexibly and be able to deploy them in a more targeted way in the future. This will help the directors of public health, and other professionals, to have a greater say in how testing is used and deployed in their own area.

“Having this extra capacity, more permanently, means that we can respond and react in a much more targeted way with other testing resources, should we see local outbreaks or other urgent needs. Such decisions can now be made in the knowledge that there are more testing sites in Cheshire and Merseyside to rely on day to day.

“We will carefully study the use of these new sites as we look to roll out further testing capability across Cheshire and Merseyside in our bid to continue protecting lives and livelihoods.”

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