New drop-in Covid testing centres to open in Wakefield amid push to lower infection rates
New drop-in Covid testing facilities are set to open in Wakefield this week, as part of an effort to prepare the district for the easing of lockdown restrictions in July.
Wakefield Council said it would focus the new measures, which include community door knocking and additional testing centre on the areas experiencing the highest number of cases.
This includes cases of the new Delta variant, which last week accounted for two thirds of all new cases in the district.
It is hoped that these additional precautions will help keep case rates low ahead of the planned easing of lockdown restrictions on July 19.
Councillor Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Everyone is wanting the remaining restrictions to be lifted so we can continue moving forwards to a normal way of life.
"Increasing our testing offer will help us to take the next step to a more familiar future and I urge everyone to play their part by taking part in testing, having their vaccine and following the latest guidance.”
The additional sites will offer PCR testing, for people who are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, with appointments available to book through the national testing system.
Tests are offered at two permanent sites: the former Westgate Station Car Park, and the former Castleford Swimming Baths.
Mobile testing units offering testing will be available at locations across Wakefield and the Five Towns this week, on the following days:
Agbrigg and Belle Vue community centre (drop in): 9am – 3pm Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June.
South Elmsall Market: 9am-3pm Sunday 20, Monday 21, Wednesday, Thursday 24 and Sunday 27 June.
Grange Community Centre, Carlton: 9am – 3pm Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June.
Wakefield Sports and Social Club: 9am-3pm Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June.
Wakefield Trinity RLFC: 9am-3pm Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June.
Hemsworth Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church - 9am – 3pm Wednesday 23 and Friday 25 June.
Kings School, Pontefract – 9am-3pm Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June.
Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant continue to rise across the Wakefield district. We are actively monitoring the situation and taking all necessary action.
“We are increasing testing capacity and continuing to promote vaccination in areas experiencing cases of the Delta variant through proactive measures including community door knocking."
People who need to leave home for work or education are being encouraged to take twice-weekly lateral flow tests, which are designed to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
These can be ordered from the government website, or collected from a number of sites across Wakefield and the Five Towns