Covid-19 testing capacity for people experiencing symptoms is to be increased in North Yorkshire with the building of two seven-day-a-week sites.
Two local testing sites are scheduled to come into operation shortly, one in Harrogate and the other in Scarborough, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Through the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, which brings together councils, emergency services and health organisations to tackle the pandemic, the county successfully made the case for the permanent centres to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, said:
We have worked hard to retain and increase the level of testing across the county, so we are pleased that our efforts have resulted in the creation of these two sites, which will be up and running shortly. We will continue to lobby for further expansion of testing facilities across the county.
The Harrogate site will be off Dragon Parade, which has hosted mobile testing units. Construction on the modular building is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 14 October, with completion on Sunday, 18 October. The site would then begin operating on 21 October.
During construction, mobile testing will continue in Harrogate at Harrogate Hydro on Friday, 16 October, and Harrogate High School on Sunday, 18 October.
The Scarborough local testing site will be on William Street Car Park outside The Street. Construction is likely to be at the beginning of November, creating a site with a similar testing capacity to the Harrogate site.
After an initial pilot period, the centres will open between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.
Both sites will be walk-through centres, meaning people can arrive on foot rather than having to drive in. People must book tests in advance (visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119).
Mobile testing units will continue to operate at locations around the county.
Testing is available only for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
The Harrogate and Scarborough sites will be constructed by the DHSC. The sites will be part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now includes more than 500 sites available across the UK, including 77 drive-through sites, 171 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and six mega laboratories.