Hertfordshire town to begin mass coronavirus testing as council urges residents to keep playing their part

The mass testing will be extended further in the new year as cases surge

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 12:32 pm

Free COVID-19 testing for people in Broxbourne who are not showing any symptoms is available, initially on four days, until the end of December.

Hertfordshire County Council is introducing the rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests, with the first day today (Tuesday) - the intention is to help those people most at risk by finding positive cases more quickly and breaking transmission of the virus in areas with high rates.

The Borough of Broxbourne currently has among one of the highest case rates in England.

Coronavirus stock image

A mobile testing unit will be at the following locations on these days:

- Tuesday, December 22, (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Hoddesdon Clock Tower

- Wednesday, December 23, (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Waltham Cross Town Square

- Tuesday, December 29, (9.30am to 4.30pm) - Cheshunt Community Hospital.

A mobile testing unit will also be available in the Borough of Broxbourne on Wednesday, December 30, with the location yet to be confirmed.

These tests are being provided on a ‘walk-in’ basis only - there is no need to book a test at one of these sites in advance.

You MUST make sure you DO NOT have symptoms to get one of these tests. If you do have symptoms - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - please book a standard COVID-19 test online or by calling 119.

Once at a mobile testing site, it is vital that you wear a face mask, follow social-distancing rules and all instructions from staff, who will also be on hand to help people through the testing process.

Rapid tests can produce results within 45 minutes with these provided by text or email on the same day.

Further rapid testing - right across Hertfordshire – is expected to be available early in the new year, both at fixed sites and again in mobile testing units which will move around the county depending on where they are most needed.

Tim Hutchings, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It is absolutely vital that we all continue to play our part in protecting our local community and preventing the spread of coronavirus.

"Getting tested promptly, at the right time, is one of the most important ways we can do this.

"These tests, for those who are asymptomatic – that is, for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus – will be critical in controlling and reducing the spread of the virus.

"I urge as many people as possible in Broxbourne to use this service.

"Around one in every three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are likely to be spreading the virus without realising, so identifying these positive cases more quickly will be a huge step forward in reducing the number of cases in Broxbourne.

"The more we’re able to do that, the less pressure there will be on the NHS and we can start to move towards enjoying the types of lives we had before the pandemic.”