New walk-through coronavirus testing site opens at Rochdale Town Hall car park

Date published: 08 June 2020

A new walk-through coronavirus testing site has opened on the car park behind Rochdale Town Hall.

The facility – one of only three of its type in the country – is for residents displaying Covid-19 symptoms but unable to visit drive-through sites due to not having their own transport.

It is a self-testing site – meaning those who use it have to perform the procedure themselves, under guidance from staff – and has the capacity to carry out 16 tests an hour.

The facility, off Packer Street, is one of the government’s Local Test Sites (LTS). These are smaller, localised operations targeted at high density urban areas – providing an alternative method of testing for those who are eligible.

The National Testing Programme has provided the set-up and ongoing operations but the data will help council and local health bosses make better decisions around school openings and other issues related to the spread of the virus.

Dr Chris Duffy, chair of Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This site is accessible to town centre users and many residential areas in Rochdale and is open to test all suspected cases of coronavirus, on a walk-in basis. 

“If you, your family members or anyone you know is experiencing coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of smell, they can ring to book a slot as soon as possible to get confirmation. If positive, you will be provided with the appropriate advice to limit its spread.”

Booking an appointment at the facility, which is open seven days a week, is free of charge.

People will need to show a confirmation email at the site – either printed or on a mobile device – and ID to get a test. Face coverings must also be worn at all times.

The facility in Rochdale town centre is the only one in the north west – the other two are based in Leeds and Newcastle.

At present these are ‘pilot’ testing sites, and it will be up to the government to decide whether to extend the scheme to other parts of the country.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

To book a test at the Rochdale site free of charge call 0808 1964 100.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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