The ability to get tested without symptoms to put our minds at ease is an important one. There are scenarios where we may get into close proximity with someone that has a cough, or have walked through an uncomfortably busy supermarket for essential shopping. The increased health anxiety that this past year has caused has affected many of the public, so having the chance to receive a test to put these fears to rest, or to preempt illness and prevent spreading it is incredibly useful. Leicester City Council have opened a new walk-in centre which is offering rapid coronavirus testing to workers who have no symptoms of the virus. The centre opened in Leicester on Friday 12 February.
The testing centre has opened at the Tudor Community Centre on Bewcastle Grove in Mowmacre and is the fifth rapid testing facility to be opened by the city council.
Leicester’s other rapid testing sites are at the Adult Education College, Coleman Neighbourhood Centre, Eyres Monsell Community Centre and Fosse Neighbourhood Centre.
It is said that one in three people with coronavirus having no symptoms, so it’s essential that those who have to go out to work are regularly tested so that they aren’t unknowingly spreading the virus when out and about. On average, one in 25 tests carried out in Leicester’s rapid testing centres proves to be positive.
Director of public health Professor Ivan Browne said: “Even if you have no symptoms, you could still be spreading the virus – and a mild, or imperceptible, illness for you could be a life-threatening disease for someone else,” he said.
“That’s why we’re encouraging people who can’t work from home to get tested at our walk-in centres. By coming forward for a test, you’ll be helping us to track down the virus and stop it from being passed on. And if you test positive, it’s really important that you self-isolate for 10 days, and that your close contacts self-isolate too. That’s the only way we’ll be able to break the chain of transmission.”
The self-administered lateral flow tests are a simple swab of the throat and the nose. Test results are available within an hour and those who can’t work from home can get tested twice a week.
One more walk-in rapid testing site is planned to be opened so that there will be six sites across the city. This ensures that it is even easier for key workers with no symptoms to get regular tests. The new testing centre is due to open at Hamilton Library on Maidenwell Avenue in around two weeks’ time.
It’s important to remember that people with symptoms of coronavirus should NOT go to any of the rapid testing centres. Instead, they should stay at home and book a test online or by calling 119.
Cases of coronavirus are slowly coming down across Leicester, however they are still higher than the national average, with the latest figures showing a 7-day rate of 299 per 100,000.
Opening hours at all the city’s rapid testing centres are from 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
More information about rapid testing for anyone who can’t work from home is available at leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus