A third NHS staff coronavirus testing site has been set up in Lincolnshire as health bosses look to test 360 staff over the bank holiday weekend.
The site near to the NHS headquarters in Bracebridge Heath will join two existing stations at the Yarborough Leisure Centre in Lincoln and the Princess Royal Sports Arena in Boston.
Health bosses, however, emphasised that these sites are not for the general public but for invited staff in a bid to help them back into work.
A spokesman for the NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group which is leading the sites said each one was at “varying stages of mobilisation” but had begun to test staff who are symptomatic.
They said the sites had “scope to test 360 staff over the bank holiday weekend.”
A spokesman said: “The test programme is being continually developed locally and nationally, with changes to capacity being made constantly.
“Only staff who have been referred for testing by their own organisation, and received an appointment, will be tested. No one else should attend – people who attend without an appointment will not be tested.”
Bosses have not yet been able to tally how many staff have so far been tested and returned to work.
Last Sunday, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust chief executive Andrew Morgan said 525 staff members were off, self-isolating or not in work due to COVID-19, pushing the total absence rate for the workforce to around 11%.
Assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council Tony McGinty said today (Friday), that the sites would start to have an impact, but that it would “not be dramatically over the Easter Weekend.”
However, he added: “Our hospitals are coping.
“They’re comfortable, they have capacity for what people may need from them today and over the rest of the weekend as well.
“So I don’t want people to be worrying that if they need urgent health care that it’s not going to be available for them.”
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