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Community Covid testing focus moves to rapid tests as pilot scheme ends

Residents in Tendring without Covid-19 symptoms are being encouraged to seek a rapid Coronavirus test.

As part of the community testing programme, Essex County Council has opened a rapid testing site (Lateral Flow Testing) in Dovercourt, and bookings can be made for this online at www.essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19/if-you-dont-have-symptoms.

Essex, as a testing pilot area, is leading the way in this rapid testing – particularly around workforce testing – and we hope to have more information on this soon, including how Tendring will be involved.

However, following a change in government policy on community Covid-19 testing, Tendring District Council (TDC) will no longer be running our PCR test site at Clacton Leisure Centre once our current stocks have gone.

The existing supply is expected to run out in the next few days based on current take-up of the scheme.

An announcement will be made on TDC’s social media channels once the tests have all gone. Clacton Leisure Centre will remain open to collect completed tests, and this scheme – part of a national pilot – has been successful.

Lynda McWilliams, TDC Cabinet Member for Partnerships, said it was still important for people unable to work from home to get a test.

“During this period of national lockdown it is vital that we all stay at home, and only leave our homes for essential reasons; while that includes work, if you can work from home you absolutely should,” Cllr McWilliams said.

“If though you cannot, and especially if you work somewhere where you come into contact with other people – such as in a supermarket or pre-school – then I would encourage you to seek a rapid test so together we can identify and isolate positive cases in our community.

“Our PCR testing site at Clacton Leisure Centre proved extremely popular, and I am pleased that so many people in our community came forward to get tested – if you have collected a test, please still complete it on Sunday and drop it back for analysis.

“We were prepared to continue running this, and expand it to other locations, but as the national approach to testing has now changed we will stand by to support the next phase of the pandemic response.”

Residents can continue to get a Covid-19 test if they do not have symptoms at the rapid testing site; or, if they have symptoms, through the national system which includes the Mobile Testing Units deployed at sites in Tendring.

To find out more and keep up-to-date visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/communitytesting.