New regional Covid test center to be open seven days a week

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The plan to open the large facility at Runcorn came about after people in the area had difficulty gaining access to a test when they suffered from symptoms of the virus.

A new regional testing center for Covid testing will open next month and will be available seven days a week.

It is being set up after people in the region had difficulty accessing a test when they suffered from symptoms of the virus.

Julia Rosser, public health advisor and head of the testing department at Halton County Council, said: “People had difficulty getting a test when and where they needed it during the summer.

People will be able to book appointments when they have symptoms, via www.gov.uk or by calling 119.

The new regional testing facility in Runcorn joins the existing regional centers at Haydock Park in Newton-le-Willows and John Lennon Airport in Liverpool.

It will be located at Heath Business Park and is expected to open on Wednesday, November 4.

“We’ve worked together across Cheshire and Merseyside to get this right and ensure that the tests are easily accessible to anyone who needs them.

“However, both the sites and the laboratory capacity now appear to have improved significantly.

“We find that our sites are available for testing on a daily basis, particularly at weekends, and we encourage anyone who needs a test to book one.

In addition, the network of new local testing sites will provide health directors in each of the nine counties in Cheshire and Merseyside with one or more semi-permanent facilities on their doorstep so that they can have local people tested when they need to.

“The sites we have now established, whether they are regional, local or mobile, will enable people who develop symptoms to be tested quickly and to find out if they need to continue to isolate themselves.

When Liverpool City Region entered the Level 3 restrictions, the prevalence of the virus meant that more people with symptoms needed to be tested.

There is also a fleet of nine mobile testing sites, deployed in Cheshire and Merseyside to help in priority areas and during specific outbreaks.

Director of Testing in Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley, said: “We now have more facilities and laboratory capacity so that anyone with symptoms can perform a test.

More capacity has also gone online at the national laboratories, making it much easier than ever to book a test appointment.

“We have worked extremely hard with partners such as local councils, laboratories and NHS Trusts to ensure that we have the infrastructure and capacity we need in Cheshire and Merseyside when we see a second surge of Covid-19.

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