Two new Covid testing centres opening up in Northamptonshire

PCR swabs for those with symptoms in Daventry...lateral flow device tests for key workers without symptoms in Brackley

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 3:48 pm

Two new Covid-19 testing centres are open for those with and without symptoms in Daventry and Brackley.

The new walk-in facility in Daventry is for those WITH symptoms — a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Meanwhile, a new lateral flow test centre in Brackley, similar to one opened in Northampton last week, is offering rapid results for key workers WITHOUT symptoms in the south of the county.

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Two new Covid testing sites are opening in Northamptonshire

Officials say this will even out the spread of testing centres nationwide according to the density of populations in different towns.

Government figures showed Daventry district had a rate of 126.8 new positive tests per 100,000 people on Feb 17 and South Northamptonshire a rate of 65.6 — well below the national average.

That compares to figures of 311.6 in Corby at the other end of the county, 232.1 in Wellingborough and 227 in Kettering.

Corby remains the area with the highest infection rates in the country and Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised to follow up calls for mass testing in the town.

But local health officials insist that the town's two testing centres — one PCR for those with symptoms and a lateral flow test centre for those without — are doing the job, allowing them to increase ease of access elsewhere.

Director of Public Health, Lucy Wightman, said: "Despite the relatively high number of case rates in Corby, the test centres that are already there are not identifying huge swathes of positive cases.

"The population size and the positivity rates do not suggest we need another testing site in Corby at the present time.

"If the positivity rate was much higher, then we would have made sure there was greater ease of access for people needing to get tested."

Testing at all sites is only available by appointment via the national booking line on 119 or nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Those who test positive for the virus via PCR swab will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Lateral flow device testing provides results in 30 minutes and is used to identify the one in three people who may be infectious without being aware.

Official advice is for people working in key sectors to get tested on a weekly basis to help to reduce the spread of the virus — although officials highlight a negative test result is not a guarantee you do not have Covid-19.

Dr Rhosyn Harris, consultant in Public Health at the county council, said: “We know from our existing sites that regular testing of those without symptoms helps us identify a number of positive cases and cut the transmission by isolating those individuals."

"it also provides workforces some reassurance that workers are less likely to transmit the virus without knowing.”