Lateral Flow Test sites have been operating in the city for the last 15 months, but with current funding from the Department of Health and Social Care coming to an end, alongside a reduction in demand for supervised tests, all sites will close.
Overseen by trained non-clinicians, asymptomatic testing began as a small pilot centred around 450 Coventry City Council staff at Whitley Depot, before being made available to all residents and workers across the city as the first community test centre opened on Priory Street in December 2020.
In early 2021, community testing was extended, and walk-in centres opened in several venues, beginning with Coventry Transport Museum, to allow the city’s vital battle against COVID-19 to continue.
The community testing centres have been run by redeployed Coventry City Council workers and volunteers from across the city since the first day testing began.
The first site to close will be the test site based at Woodlands School, on Monday 28 February 2022.
This closure will be shortly followed by the Indian Community Centre on Sunday 20 March, along with Market Way on Sunday 27 March and the Council’s Mobile Testing Unit offer, which will also come to an end.
Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Lateral Flow Testing has been an important part in helping us all live with and manage the spread of coronavirus.
“I am very proud of everyone who has worked on the testing programme over the last 15 months and would like to thank each person for their hard work. I’d also like to thank all our partners, who allowed us to offer testing at their sites, making it easier for people to access tests.
“A big thank you also goes to our residents and workers who stepped forward to have a test at one of our sites and continued to play their part.
“Despite the community test sites closing, it’s important to remember that coronavirus has not gone away. It’s still important to get both doses of the vaccine, along with a booster, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces”.
Valerie De Souza, Acting Director of Public Health and Wellbeing for Coventry said: “It’s been great to see how willing those who live and work in our city have been to do their bit during the last 15 months, but we must all remember that the pandemic is not yet over.
“Please continue to manage your own personal risks safely to keep your family, friends, others in the city and the NHS safe”
To find out more about the latest Covid-19 plans, visit: GOV.UK.
Written by: Calum Wilkes