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New Covid-19 testing site opens at Wakefield College

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The Wakefield district’s first community lateral flow COVID-19 test site is opening this week in partnership with Wakefield College (@wakeycollege) for staff and students as well as critical workers across the district. 

The new site opened for pilot sessions on Tuesday 26 January and will now be available, for pre-booked appointments only, from Wednesday 3rd February. To book an appointment, please visit https://wakefieldlft.eventbrite.co.uk/. There is currently no option for telephone appointments. 

The site is part of Wakefield Council’s wider COVID-19 test programme, alongside mobile testing support provided for a range of organisations and a ‘drop off and take away’ service offering PCR tests which is provided in partnership with Conexus. 

Lateral flow testing (LFT) aims to identify people who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms (this is called being asymptomatic), but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly. 

While LFT is an important tool to help reduce transmission in the community, staying at home remains the best way to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Residents should only book an appointment if they are a ‘critical worker’ or otherwise have to leave the house to go to work. If you can work from home, you should continue to do so and will not need to access asymptomatic testing. 

Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or loss of taste and smell – however mild, should not seek a lateral flow test. Instead they must get tested, either through the local home delivery service, or using the national drive-in sites. 

The Wakefield home delivery service is available from Monday to Saturday and bookings for appointments can be made at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 01924 224497. 

Sam Wright, Principal of Wakefield College, said:

“The establishment of this community testing centre in such a short time is testament to the hard work of staff at the College, the Council, the military and other partners, and shows what can be achieved when we all work together towards a common goal.” 

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Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We are pleased to be working with Wakefield College to operate this testing site, making testing even more accessible for our critical workers who are providing essential services across the district.” 

Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“This site must only be used for those NOT displaying any COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic). Residents displaying symptoms should please act now, book a test straight away and self-isolate until you get the results. By taking quick action we can help stop the spread of the virus. 

“If you are displaying symptoms please book a test. You will be allocated an appointment at one of our other testing sites. Please make an appointment, even if your symptoms are mild.” 

Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms is urged to get a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. 

Residents in the district who suspect they have symptoms of the virus can also access tests via a home delivery service but people are urged to try the national system first. 

If a child, aged between 2 – 12 years has symptoms, a test can be brought to the house for the parent to swab the child. If the parent struggles to manage this then an assisted swabbing service can be offered for children aged 2 – 12 years where nursing staff can arrange a home visit to help. 

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