A local coronavirus testing site for people displaying symptoms of coronavirus has opened in Ringwood.
The new walk-through, appointment-only local testing site is located at the Furlong car park and is offering tests to anyone displaying symptoms, however mild, with appointments booked online or by calling 119.
During the current national lockdown, residents should only leave home for essential reasons, which includes getting a COVID test if displaying symptoms, however mild (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). Testing is free and involves a swab of the nose and back of the throat, which takes less than a minute to complete.
Anyone testing positive in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This will help to identify their close contacts and protect others in the community from further transmission of the virus.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to self-isolate to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus and to book a test if they develop symptoms.
Booking an appointment:
Additional COVID-19 testing sites have opened across Hampshire as part of the Government's drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities, to control the virus and to support the health of residents.
There are several ways to get a test in Hampshire for anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus: a permanent regional testing unit in operation in Hampshire (Southampton Airport), three mobile testing units which are diverted to areas of greatest need and local testing sites at various locations around the county.
Hampshire County Council, working closely with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum partners, is responsible for arranging the testing locations in the area. The provision and availability of testing is led by the Department of Health and Social Care.
When determining locations for testing sites, detailed clinical operating procedures are developed, which ensure public safety at all times. In addition, layouts at the sites are carefully designed to ensure people can move around them safely and prevent spread of the virus, and social distancing is maintained throughout the testing process.
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing site is also provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, including: adhering to social distancing; not travelling in a taxi or on public transport; wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre); and washing their hands thoroughly before leaving for their appointment. Following their test, people are being reminded to return immediately home and to continue to self-isolate while they await their results.
The County Council is working closely with District partners to ensure that communities and residents are appropriately informed about the establishment of local testing sites in their area.
The County Council is also reminding residents through Hampshire-wide communications that home testing kits are available and are often a good option for those concerned about travelling to a local testing site.
More information can be found on Hampshire County Council's website.