Rapid Covid test site up and running after delays

The opening of Wolverhampton’s rapid testing centre was delayed for hours after equipment failed to arrive.

The testing site at the Sedgley Street temple opened yesterday afternoon after a delay
The testing site at the Sedgley Street temple opened yesterday afternoon after a delay

Dozens of people arrived at the centre at 7am yesterday only to be turned away. The delay is believed to have been caused by a lack of supplies including personal protective equipment, as well as issues with training.

The Government-run site at the Guru Nanak Sikh temple in Sedgley Street, Blakenhall, eventually opened at around 3pm after volunteers has spent hours scrambling around to set up facilities.

It was due to fully open to the public at 7am this morning, offering lateral flow tests with results given in half an hour.

The pilot scheme is the first community-led testing site in the country and is being delivered in partnership with Wolverhampton Council, NHS Test and Trace and city faith groups.

It is intended for people without symptoms.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "It will make use of lateral flow antigen tests and enable us to identify people who, because they’re asymptomatic, risk accidentally spreading Covid-19 to others.

"This will help break the chain of transmission and reduce the spread of the virus."

Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: "This pilot is one of many which will lay the foundations for the next phase of NHS Test and Trace – mass testing – which will allow us to test even more people, even more quickly."

The site is open daily from 7am to 7pm until November 30. Results will be provided via email or mobile.

Meanwhile it has emerged that the Midlands is suffering from the highest rates of household coronavirus transmissions in the country.

Public Health England (PHE) said the "significant number" of multi-generational households across the region were likely to be a "key factor".

Dr Lola Abudu, deputy director for health and wellbeing at PHE West Midlands, said: "Maintaining social distancing at all times is important within multi-generational households with elderly parents and grandparents who may have underlying health issues and are particularly vulnerable."

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