Omicron case numbers in the South-West are still very high, so people with symptoms in the Bridgwater area are being urged to use a newly opened PCR testing site in the town.
The new walk-through coronavirus testing facility at the Old Hospital site, in the Salmon Parade car park, Bridgwater, TA6 5AH has opened for people to book appointments as part of the government’s drive to continue to improve the accessibility of Covid-19 testing for local communities. It is open 7 days a week, between 8am – 6pm.
PCR testing is available at this site for those with symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test via the opens in a new windowNHS website or by calling 119.
The new site is situated so it is easily accessible without a car, and anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Jenny Harries, CEO of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “This new walk-through site is part of our ongoing work to make it even easier for people who need a PCR test to get one.
“If you have developed a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, or you are asked or advised to get a test, please book one and follow any advice you’re given.
“As we return to a more familiar way of life, testing, and isolating when necessary, remain a vital way of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting one another.”
Professor Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “We would encourage anyone with Covid symptoms in the Bridgwater area to step forward and book a test at this new centre.
“Testing plays a key role in helping to reduce the spread of this highly infectious virus. Self-isolating immediately once you notice symptoms, and then getting tested, is key to preventing the spread of the infection. Once an individual has a positive test result, we can then also notify anyone that may have been in close contact with them and reduce the risk of the virus spreading even further.
“These sites are important assets in the County’s bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and we hope the location of the site will make it easier for those living in the wider Bridgwater area to access and therefore enable more people to get tested in a convenient way.”
Testing at the new site started from Wednesday 12 January and appointments are being made available each day.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Covid-19 testing is also available for those asked to get a test, which could be by NHS Test and Trace if they’re a close contact of a positive case, by a clinician or their local authority, by a testing pilot or via their work. Instead of self-isolating, those who are fully vaccinated and under 18s identified as close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.
Free, rapid lateral flow testing is also available to everyone in England for people without symptoms. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have any symptoms but can still infect others. Taking a free rapid lateral flow test before a period of high risk will give you peace of mind that you are unlikely to be infectious and able to spread Covid-19. It remains vital to get vaccinated and continue to take other preventative measures such as regular hand washing, wearing a face mask and keeping spaces ventilated when meeting people indoors.