As lockdown restrictions continue to ease over the next month, residents are reminded that there are a variety of ways to get tested for COVID-19 across the city.
Residents without any coronavirus symptoms can get rapid result, lateral flow tests at eight community venues and a variety of community pharmacies citywide. People who book a coronavirus lateral flow test will be tested using technology which gives results in just over 30 minutes, without the need to go to a lab to be processed. Tests can be booked in advance at www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test, walk-ins are also welcome.
Home testing is available for residents without symptoms who are in household, childcare and support bubbles with primary and secondary school pupils or staff and occupations associated with childcare or education such as school escorts and childminders. Those eligible can collect test kits from 12 community venues across the city offering Community Collect. After having a test done on site with a trained member of staff to explain how to do the test, residents can then collect two boxes of seven test kits to complete twice-weekly at home. Residents do not need to book to collect test kits after this but can still get a test at a community testing venue or a pharmacy offering tests. More information on Community Collect can be found at www.stoke.gov.uk/communitycollect.
Residents who receive a positive lateral flow test at a community venue or through home testing are now required to take a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours of receiving the positive result. Tests can be booked through the national portal at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Residents are reminded if they have any of the three main coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, cough, loss of taste/smell) they should book a test at a regional testing centre and have a PCR test. The city’s local sites are: Stoke City FC South Car Park, Fenton Manor Car Park and Synectics Solutions Car Park. Tests can be booked through the national portal at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
As the council follows recovery plans to restart services safely and redeployed staff are starting to go back to their original roles, six community test sites will close. These changes to the council’s community testing programme will come into force from Thursday, April 1.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “We have worked hard to make testing accessible for all. As we move forward with the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have adapted our testing programme to reflect this. Some of our testing venues will be opening back up as leisure centres, and the changes we are making will also mean we have capacity to respond quickly should there be small outbreaks or new variants in the future. By changing the testing programme, more venues are now offering Community Collect so people can take regular tests in the comfort of their own homes.
“Please still get tested over the Easter break, we know many residents will be meeting loved ones outside this Easter weekend and over the two-week school holiday. If you are meeting others, please get tested on your way or the day before for peace of mind.”
Latest figures show that the seven-day coronavirus rate is 83.9 cases per 100,000 people, from March 17 to March 24 – with no decrease on the previous seven days. The positivity rate – the percentage of people who have had a coronavirus test and tested positive – has decreased to 2.3% per cent.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “Our rate is much lower than it was a few weeks ago and our positivity has decreased, but we do not want our rate to go up after the Easter bank holiday. Let’s not undo all our hard work. Keep getting tested weekly and remember hands, face, space.”
Community testing sites open
- LRV at Staffordshire University
- Christ Church
- City Central Mosque
- Hanley Town FC
- Northwood Stadium
- Florence Sports and Social Club
- Baddeley Green Working Mens Club.
Community testing sites open just for community collect:
- Dimensions Leisure Centre
- Wallace Sports Centre
- New Horizons Leisure Centre
- Trentham Rugby Club.
Community pharmacies open for lateral flow tests:
- Abbey Hulton- Miltons Chemist and Lloyds
- Milton- Milton Pharmacy
- Blurton- Blurton Pharmacy
- Chell- Birchill & Watson
- Burslem- Middleport Pharmacy, Burlsem Pharmacy and Lloyds
- Stoke- Miltons Chemist and Lloyds (inside Sainsburys)
- Dresden- Millers Chemist
- Fenton- Lloyds
- Hanley- Lloyds and Derby Street Pharmacy
- Longton- Meir Hay Pharmacy
- Meir- Weston Road Pharmacy
- Hartshill- Hartshill Pharmacy
- Packmoor- Packmoor Pharmacy
- Shelton- Lloyds and Norfolk Street Pharmacy
Community test sites that will be closed from April 1:
- Weston Coyney Village Hall
- Sneyd Green Community Hub
- Penkhull Village Hall
- Blurton Community Hub
- Hazel Trees Duke Street
- Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre.