Coronavirus testing centre opens in Hailsham
A new walk-in coronavirus testing centre has opened in Hailsham.
The new site is located at South Road Car Park and testing started on Thursday (February 11), with appointments made available each day.
Testing at the centre is only available for those with Covid-19 symptoms – such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
The centre is being operated in partnership with Sodexo and will offer self-administered tests.
Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Sodexo teams have moved quickly to set up Covid-10 testing centres as part of the industry-wide effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Hailsham site will mean more people can be tested.
“I am proud of our colleagues who are working together with pace and dedication to support the NHS.”
Those being tested at the site will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day and includes more than 800 sites across the UK, including 87 drive-through sites, 486 walk-through sites, six Lighthouse laboratories, home testing and satellite kits, and a large number of mobile units.
Health minister Lord Bethell said: “To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch.
“We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.
“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”
Anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for ten days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “Walk-through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand our testing network across the UK which now has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day. We will continue to expand capacity to improve test turnaround times and push forward testing innovations to make sure anyone who needs a test can get one.
“Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted.”
Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.