Kirklees Council’s community testing sites will only be open to critical workers as the authority urges people to stay at home during the latest lockdown.
The new rules around community testing will come into effect from tomorrow (Thursday 7 January 2021).
Since 18 December 2020, the council has been offering tests for anyone without COVID-19 symptoms at four sites across the borough.
Over 20,000 tests have been carried out with more than 300 cases identified.
With the government ordering a new national lockdown earlier this week, the testing centres have been closed to the general public.
The council says it wants to encourage Kirklees residents to stay at home.
No date has been given for when the testing centres’ may reopen, but it’s likely that they will open once the lockdown has ended.
Tests for people who don’t have symptoms will still be available for critical workers who are not able to work from home and they are encouraged to get tested weekly at one of four community testing centres across Kirklees.
It means that early years providers, construction workers, supermarket staff, people who work in other people’s homes and others, can get a free weekly test to avoid the spread of the virus.
Kirklees has four testing centre’s across the borough.
Anyone in Kirklees who has COVID-19 symptoms will still be able to arrange a test by calling 119 or going to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
The council also says that large employers in Kirklees can apply for community testing for critical worker employees.
Employers can inquire about testing via firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking on the new system, Kirklees’ Director of Public Health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, said: “We’ve had an incredible response from local people to community testing.
“Many thousands of people have stepped up to get a test and protect their families and community.
“We’ve found hundreds of cases in people who may never have otherwise known they were carrying the virus.
“But we have to act on the risks that we are all facing.
“The most important thing people can do for the next few weeks is to stay at home and we need to encourage people in Kirklees to do just that.
“If you have a job that means you will be working outside your home, you can still come to one of our centres to get a test if you don’t have symptoms and we encourage you to do this once a week.
“We need to focus on the people who are most at risk and try to break the chain of transmission because we know how quickly and easily the virus is now spreading.
“We can all continue to play our part by continuing to do the essentials: social distancing, wearing a face covering, regular hand washing and getting a test if you have symptoms.”
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