Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the news that a new walk-through COVID-19 testing site will officially open in Walpole Park Car Park, South Street, tomorrow.
With rising cases locally and nationally, Caroline has been contacted by several constituents about provisions for testing in the local area.
The new testing site is available for those with COVID-19 symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – however mild they might be. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Unlike the testing site at the Southampton Airport in Eastleigh, which you drive through, the new Gosport site will be walk-through only. This means that everyone can access a COVID-19 test, even if they do not have their own car. Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Gosport is not the only area in Hampshire that is benefitting from a new testing site. Further facilities are also opening in Havant, Winchester, Aldershot and Basingstoke. Hampshire also have three Mobile Testing Units to deploy across the county as needed.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now includes more than 500 sites available across the UK, including 78 drive-through sites, 205 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.
“I am pleased that this new site has opened up for local residents, to help them access a COVID-19 test quickly. I know this has been a real concern for my constituents as cases rise locally and nationally.
“Importantly, the test centre will ensure that those in the Gosport Constituency without a car can still get a test easily.
“I urge all residents to get a test when symptomatic and follow the guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“We continue to expand testing to make sure that everyone with symptoms can get a test, with our new walk-in sites making it even easier no matter where you live.
“This new site forms part of our national testing network, which has the capacity to test more than a million people a week and is growing all the time.
“If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others around you and stop the spread of the virus.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:
“Our new walk through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand testing across the UK to deliver 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
“Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste.
“Everybody should continue to think hands, face, space, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted – this is the only way we can return to a more normal way of life.”