Bradford’s first COVID-19 walk-in testing centre will open in Centenary Square tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1, to prevent further spreading of the virus.
The centre is set to increase local testing capacity and makes testing more accessible to people within the district. Anyone from Bradford can use the centre if they have had symptoms of COVID-19, including, high temperature, new cough or change in sense of taste and smell.
Control measures will be in place at the centre as face coverings must be worn, and social distancing will need to be followed at all times. Those travelling who have symptoms of coronavirus should also avoid using public transport where possible.
Bradford joins a select group of major cities across the UK and the globe who have launched similar centres recently. The council’s public health team and the Department of Health and Social Care fast-tracked the opening of the centre.
Council Leader, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said: “We have a good track record in the district of testing because of our own local Marley Fields testing site in Keighley which complements the national testing sites.
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to test all the staff in the care homes of the district because of the facility at Marley Fields.
“That has contributed to getting the infection rate down in care homes. Now, with this new site in the city centre, I think there’s an opportunity to broaden out and offer testing to other frontline workers.
“I’ll be asking NHS England to offer testing to bus drivers, train drivers and taxi drivers, for example, and there will be other professions too. I would welcome a positive response.”
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “This represents another step forward in our ongoing work to protect the people of Bradford. By safely providing tests in a highly accessible location, the unit will make it far easier for many more people to be tested.
“The quicker we can detect the virus, the quicker we can support those people to isolate and prevent any further spread within the community.
“This initiative puts Bradford at the forefront of testing and meets the national aim of creating more accessible testing sites.
“This is just one of a number of new and more flexible initiatives we are piloting to expand our local support to the NHS Test and Trace programme.
“This holds the key to containing the onward spread of the virus, freeing up capacity in the NHS, and restarting the economy – while at the same time guarding against the return of a second ‘wave’ of infections.”
People attending the testing centre can make pre-booked appointments and there will be a selection of drop-in tests. Results of testing are usually made available between 24-72 hours.
Appointments and further information can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/