A new permanent testing site is opening in the borough

A new permanent testing site is opening in the borough to offer more capacity to help increase the number of people being tested for COVID-19.

The new site at Havering Town Hall in Romford, will increase the number of walk up testing locations in the borough to three, giving residents some of the best access to testing sites in London. This will replace the current temporary testing site.

Residents can get tested at one of the sites if they have symptoms of COVID-19 – a continuous cough, a high temperature or have lost their sense of taste or smell.

The tests are quick and easy and take less than a minute – and our walk-through sites are open seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“We are still the highest place for Covid cases in London so it is important we do all we can to change this. This is why it is so important to have additional capacity and I am really pleased we now have a new site opening.

“To bring the rate of infection down, residents with symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested as quickly as possible at one of the centres located across the borough.

“But we only want them to get tested, if they have the symptoms, otherwise they’ll be taking the space of someone who needs it more.

“The tests are quick and simple and if taken at the testing site, results will be available in a couple of days, and as a specialist will support you to do it, it will be more accurate than doing it yourself at home.

“It involves self-swabbing your mouth and nose while being supervised by a member of staff.

“We want everyone to do their bit to help us get back to normality as quickly as possible. By getting tested you’re not only protecting yourself, but also your own family and friends from this terrible virus.”

Testing is by appointment only and residents will then be able to walk into one of the testing sites in Cherry Tree Lane, Rainham Road, Rainham, Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill and Havering Town Hall.

The sites are open from 8am until 8 pm daily, including weekends. The mobile walk-through and drive-through unit, currently based at Havering Town Hall, Romford, will continue to operate, but elsewhere in the borough.

Tests can be booked by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Councillor White, who was invited to the Cherry Tree Lane testing site to see how the tests work, added:

“I know some people are concerned about being tested. I therefore wanted to see for myself how easy it is to be tested and was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t painful and is over quickly.

“I also know some people are worried about how they will cope if they have to stop working and go into self-isolation. Financial support is available and we’re here to help them through the process, whether it’s how to get their shopping and still isolate or how they can get support with their mental health.”

Havering is also one of the local authorities across the country chosen to rollout rapid COVID tests for high risk groups and for asymptomatic people. More news on this is expected to be announced shortly.

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