Community testing began at Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium on Monday for people with and without coronavirus symptoms — and there is no need to book in advance.
People can turn up at the testing centre on Sincil Bank, which opens 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday, between January 11 to 25, in a bid to drive down the COVID-19 infection rates in the city.
After this date, the testing centre will move to St Swithin’s community centre on Croft Street, so those who live in the Monks Road area of the city can attend on a walk-in basis from January 25 to February 7 (also open daily 8am to 8pm).
This comes after it was announced that Lincoln and Boston are among 17 new areas across Lincolnshire to offer COVID-19 community testing.
The rapid turnout tests are supplied by NHS Test and Trace and deliver results within an hour via text message and/or email. There is no need to book and you will be guided through the process from when you first arrive at the site.
It is for anyone aged 11 or over, but those under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.
However, anyone across the city with symptoms can also continue to book a test online here or by calling 119.
Stewards on site will check which testing point you need to be stationed at. Those with symptoms will be given a ‘what happens next’ leaflet and sent to the swab testing centre. Those without symptoms will be sent for a ‘rapid’ community test.
People must wear a face covering when entering the building and will then need to register for the test. This can be done using a smartphone, but tablets are available if needed.
After registering, you are then escorted to the testing booth area where a member of staff will talk you through the test and give prompts when needed. You will be given a swab to put the back of your mouth near your tonsils, which you then have to put up your nose before placing it in the tube provided.
After a short wait you are then free to go and will be prompted to pick up a ‘what happens next’ leaflet as you exit the building. The leaflet explains that if you get a negative test result, you must continue to follow the national lockdown restrictions.
However, if it is positive you must isolate immediately and also return to the site for a full follow-up PCR test as soon as possible after receiving your first rapid flow test result.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “This is an important step forward in our fight to bring down coronavirus transmission levels in Lincoln.
“In the UK, it is estimated that as many as one in 50 people may currently have the virus. Many do not have symptoms and so are spreading the disease unknowingly.
“The more people that can be tested the better as this helps us identify cases and to encourage people to isolate in order to break the chain of infection.
“We all want an end to lockdown and a return to normality and this additional further testing, alongside the ongoing vaccination programme, will help achieve this.
“I encourage residents to take advantage of the service and take a test. It is important that we all play our part in keeping Lincoln safe.”
The community testing initiative is run by City of Lincoln Council, in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and the Department of Health and Social Care.