A further 16 rapid testing centres for COVID-19 are to open in Suffolk, bringing the total number of centres in the county to 28.
The sites are planned to open over the next two weeks in Aldeburgh, Beccles, Brandon, Bungay, Debenham, Elmswell, Eye, Framlingham, Hadleigh, Holbrook, Halesworth, Nayland, Needham Market, Saxmundham, Southwold and Woodbridge.
The 28 centres use ‘lateral flow’ testing to identify people who may have coronavirus but who do not have symptoms. The tests are for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus and cannot work from home.
It’s because around one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms so regular testing is vital in breaking the chain of infection.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Suffolk Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “Testing is a key weapon in the battle against COVID-19, so we are delighted to be able to open a further 16 sites in more rural communities across Suffolk.
“Whilst Suffolk’s vaccine rollout programme rapidly picks up pace, we need people who can’t work from home and who don’t have symptoms to get tested twice a week. It’s how we will break the chain of infections and protect vulnerable people.
“It takes just 15 minutes to get a test and you get the results within the hour. 12,780 tests have already been completed. Suffolk needs everyone to play their part.”
The locations of the new centres, and when they’re opening, are:
- Aldeburgh – St Peter and St Paul’s Church, opens 4th March
- Beccles – Blyburgate Hall, opens 25th February
- Brandon – Church Institute, opens 23rd February
- Bungay – Honeypot Community Centre, opens 1st March
- Debenham – Sports and Leisure Centre, opens 5th March
- Elmswell – The Blackbourne, opens 24th February
- Eye – Town Hall, Monday 1st March
- Framlingham – Fire Station, opens 22nd February
- Hadleigh – United Reformed Church, opens 26th February
- Holbrook – Village Hall, opens 25th February
- Halesworth – Rifle Hall, opens 26th February
- Nayland – Fire Station, opens 22nd February
- Needham Market – Community Centre, opens 24th February
- Saxmundham – Market Hall, opens 3rd March
- Southwold – Stella Peskett Millennium Hall, opens 3rd March
- Woodbridge – The Longshed, opens 2nd March
There are already 12 facilities open, including at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, the STEM Centre in Western Way at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill Arts Centre, St Etheldreda’s parish centre in Newmarket, and Kirkley & Pakefield FC in Lowestoft.
All 28 centres are listed on Suffolk County Council’s website, including their addresses and opening times. The testing sites are operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council. Tests should be booked online or by phone in advance.
Employers are being urged to encourage their staff to book regular testing.
A map of all locations across the county can be found below: