Rapid test centres in Royal Borough 'very efficient'

06:21PM, Wednesday 03 March 2021

Rapid COVID-19 testing centres for non-symptomatic carriers of the virus have been described as ‘very efficient’ as the council continues to urge people to use the sites.

Workers in public-facing roles are being asked to take coronavirus tests at locations in both Maidenhead and Windsor to help reduce the number of people spreading the disease without knowing.

The centres – at Braywick Leisure Centre in Braywick Road, Maidenhead, and Windsor Leisure Centre – enable people to conduct lateral tests taking around 15 minutes to complete.

Sites have capacity for 17,000 tests per week, but the Royal Borough saw low numbers of people taking tests during the first fortnight.

Latest figures have revealed that more than 5,000 tests have now been taken across the two sites. Of these, 99.6 per cent tested negative for COVID-19.

To date, 19 people have tested positive for the virus after testing themselves at these locations – a percentage of 0.4 people testing positive.

Lucy Stewart, centre manager for Leisure Focus at Windsor Leisure Centre and lateral flow operations manager on behalf of the Royal Borough, added that these people and their families have self-isolated.

“Their actions prevented the spread to potentially hundreds of residents in Windsor and Maidenhead. We all thank them for doing the right thing to protect us,” Ms Stewart said.

“From the launch, uptake for lateral flow testing has increased 30 per cent, with over 100 new tests and counting booked within the last 24-hour period.

“This is a community effort and we encourage anyone to book a test via RBWM.gov.uk.”

Advertiser photographer Ian Longthorne is one of the latest to have his test at one of the sites, after visiting the Windsor location on Tuesday.

“My first visit to a lateral flow test went well,” he said. “I was guided through the process very efficiently. A swab from the mouth and nose – that’s all it is. The test takes a few minutes and gives me confidence when out and about doing my job.”

The purpose of the centres is to identify asymptomatic virus carriers, who make up about one third of cases in the borough.

Those with COVID-19 symptoms are advised not to use these sites but instead call 119, or visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test


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