Symptom free COVID-19 testing on the move in Walsall
Former community transport buses have been converted into mobile COVID-19 symptom free testing centres and will be operating during weekdays at locations across Walsall.
Anyone who lives or works in Walsall, has no COVID-19 symptoms and is in the area is being invited to hop on board, no appointment needed. If they don’t want to wait they can ask a member of the testing team for a home test kit to take a test at home.
Each bus has a small lab area for results to be processed in around 30 minutes and there will be one at Willenhall Market every Wednesday and one at Aldridge Library every Wednesday. The team will be on location from 10am till 4pm for testing and collection of Home test Kits. Another mobile bus will continue to operate at Manor Hospital.
As the focus shifts to easily accessible home and mobile testing, some supervised symptom-free testing sites in the borough will close. Aldridge Community Centre, Ryecroft Community Hub, Willenhall Chart Community Centre will be closing as testing sites on 28 May 2021.
Councillor Stephen Craddock, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community groups for their support with symptom-free testing in the borough over the past few months.
“Symptom-free testing remains central to our fight against COVID-19. The test can detect COVID-19 if you are infectious at the time the test is taken and this mobile testing facility will mean more people can be tested quickly and conveniently.
“The test involves a swab of your nose and/or throat, they are quick, easy and provide rapid results. A negative test can give you some peace of mind that you’re not unknowingly spreading the virus to your friends and family.
“If the bus is not going to an area where people live or work then there are still lots of ways people can get a symptom free test. They can visit one of the community of pharmacy sites that are remaining open to take a test or collect a home test kit from participating pharmacies, or order one online to come to their house. If residents decide to use a home test kit then it is really important they register the results online or on the phone by calling 119.
“We all play a part in controlling the spread of COVID-19, alongside hands, face, space and fresh air regular symptom free testing is important. I would urge all residents to remember test, record and repeat twice a week.”
To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.
How to access testing
Residents can continue to access symptom free testing in the following ways:
- Workplace testing: Lots of employers are offering testing in the workplace. This includes testing sites, where you can take a supervised test, and workplace collect, where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. If your employer offers workplace testing, this is still the best route for you to access rapid tests.
- Education: Secondary and college students are already being given tests to use at home twice a week.
Testing is free and is made easy using a self-administered nose and throat swab that is quick and painless. Most people will receive their result in about 30 minutes via text or email. Each positive case found via rapid testing and the person self-isolating prevents other people from becoming infected.
If you get a positive result you and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately. Get a symptom test (PCR test) within two days to confirm and self-isolate until you get the result. You will be given advice on what to do next when you receive your result.
Within two days means the symptom test (PCR) should be taken on the day the no-symptom test was taken, the next day, or the following day.
If you test negative, you should continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus, as well as measures implemented as part of the national lockdown.
Notes to editors
- Anyone with symptoms should only book a national test. Anyone who is self-isolating as a close contact should only book a test if they develop symptoms and this should be booked through the national system only.
- Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test must self-isolate for 10 days and immediately book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
- Eligible people who test positive are entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace.
- Test centres and opening hours may change over the coming months so please check for the latest information by visiting the government website and entering your postcode here
- Unfortunately there is no ramp on the bus for residents with accessibility issues. Swabbing can take place outside of the bus, however if residents are not comfortable with this then fully trained staff will also be on hand to will help with registering, provide guidance on how to take a swab and provide a home testing kit.