A NEW rapid Covid-19 testing site will open in Wem next week to help protect essential and other workers who cannot work from home.

The new centre, located at Thomas Adams Sixth Form in Noble Street will open on Monday, February 22.

The tests are for people without symptoms and should be repeated every three to five days to quickly identify and isolate those who may not know they are infectious.

Up to a third of people who test positive for Covid-19 have no symptoms at all, so it's important to test people without symptoms to identify these cases.

The speedy tests can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need for processing the swabs in a lab.

Anyone with symptoms (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste) should book a test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test  

If the test result comes back positive then residents must self-isolate for 10 days and follow the Government guidelines.

If the test is negative then you must still continue to follow Government guidelines on social distancing and wearing face coverings etc to protect yourself and others.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council's director of public health, said: "Community testing has a big role to play in driving infection rates down, but it only works as part of a whole suite of measures including effective contact tracing, following the guidance around socialising and self-isolation, and the rollout of the vaccines.

"Getting tested doesn't mean people can stop social distancing, wearing face coverings or washing their hands, but it does help to make the activities they are undertaking safer.

"People who come to be tested will be given one of the rapid lateral flow tests which give results in about 30 minutes."

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said: "I know and appreciate the efforts everyone is making to be responsible and to try and prevent the spread of the virus. But it is now more important than ever for us all to follow the national guidance to keep the rates down, and our loved ones safe.

"These rapid tests will help our frontline workers to get tested regularly.

"Those testing positive can take immediate action and self-isolate – reducing the impact on the wider community."

The lateral flow testing stations are being managed by Shropshire Council and are being run by fully-trained staff.

We are supporting other methods of Covid-19 testing that are being made available at other locations around the county.

Booking is now open via – http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/lfdpublictesting/

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council's Covid-19 Helpline on  0345 678 9028 or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus