Free COVID-19 testing for people in Broxbourne, who are not showing any symptoms, is available for four days in December.
Hertfordshire County Council is introducing the rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests at walk-in testing centres in the Borough, starting on Tuesday 22 December. The intention is to help those people most at risk by finding positive cases more quickly and breaking transmission of the virus in areas with high rates.
The Borough of Broxbourne currently has one of the highest case rates in England.
A mobile testing unit will be at the following locations:
- Tuesday 22 December (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Hoddesdon Clock Tower
- Wednesday 23 December (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Waltham Cross Town Square
- Tuesday 29 December (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Cheshunt Community Hospital
A mobile testing unit will also be available in the Borough on Wednesday 30 December, at a yet to be confirmed location. Residents should visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest and follow Hertfordshire County Council on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Tests are being offered on a ‘walk-in’ basis only - there is no need to book a test at one of these sites in advance. People wishing to be tested SHOULD NOT have symptoms OF COVID-19. Those with symptoms, i.e, a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste, should book a standard COVID-19 test online or by calling 119.
Once at a mobile testing site, it is essential that members of the public wear a face mask, follow social-distancing rules and all instructions from staff. Rapid tests can produce results within 45 minutes, which will be sent by text or email on the same day.
Further rapid testing across Hertfordshire is expected to be available early in the new year, both at fixed sites and at mobile testing units which will be deployed around the county dependant on where they are most needed.
Tim Hutchings, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Hertfordshire County Council, said:
It is absolutely vital that we all continue to play our part in protecting our local community and preventing the spread of coronavirus. Getting tested promptly, at the right time, is one of the most important ways we can do this. These tests, for those who are asymptomatic – that is, for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus – will be critical in controlling and reducing the spread of the virus. I urge as many people as possible in Broxbourne to use this service.
Around one in every three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are likely to be spreading the virus without realising, so identifying these positive cases more quickly will be a huge step forward in reducing the number of cases in Broxbourne. The more we’re able to do that, the less pressure there will be on the NHS and we can start to move towards enjoying the types of lives we had before the pandemic.
Lewis Cocking, Leader of Broxbourne Council said:
These walk-in testing units are an essential part in the fight against coronavirus, and will provide a clear picture of the situation in Broxbourne, We already know that the case rate in the Borough is extremely high, but this will help us to fully understand the extent.
We know that as many as one in three people may not show symptoms of the virus, potentially infecting others they come into contact with without realising. By testing as many people as possible we can help to prevent the transmission in these cases.
I hope that as many people as possible will take this opportunity to get tested.
More information on the testing process is available here.
Notes to editors:
- The community testing initiative is operated in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, with test kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace.
- For more information about testing, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know.aspx#tests