Team Lopez – Julia has received the attached letter from the Minister for Innovation, Lord Bethell, updating on the provision of coronavirus testing in the constituency.
The Government has confirmed it is opening a Local Test Site in the constituency at the Dorrington Gardens (Car Park) over the coming days, this site will make it easier for many people in Hornchurch to access testing. This site forms part of an expansion to open more ‘walk-through’ Local Test Sites across the UK, which are easily accessible by foot or by bicycle. These sites complement the regional drive-through testing network across the UK as well as home testing, both of which can be booked through the government’s online portal. Mobile Testing Units are also travelling the UK, responding to increased regional demand for testing, and supporting hard to reach areas.
The Department for Health and Social Care has engaged with local government and public health stakeholders to narrow down the location and identify a suitable site. In order to reach a decision, the Government considered which site is most suitable for best supporting communities in the constituency.
This expansion of testing supports the existing NHS and Public Health England infrastructure, which has greatly increased its testing capacity since the coronavirus pandemic began. This supports the Government’s commitment to expand local direction of national testing resources and moving to a more locally owned and delivered testing model.
Across the UK, testing capacity has been expanded to more than 800,000 tests a day. Anyone experiencing a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus, by calling 119, or using the NHS Covid-19 app.
In England, anyone testing positive for the virus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.