People in Chesterfield are now able to get a Covid-19 test – even if they do not have symptoms – as targeted community testing continues to roll out across the county.
All district and boroughs in Derbyshire are to get a community testing centre to help reduce the number of cases in the county, with Derbyshire County Council opening its latest centre in Chesterfield this week.
The centre in Chesterfield is at Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Boythorpe Road. The centre opened to the public on Wednesday 10 February, and will be open seven days a week, 9am to 7pm.
One in three of those who have Covid-19 do not have symptoms, so the testing is aimed at those who are still going out to work and mixing with colleagues or the public. The testing will identify people with Covid-19, enable support for those who have to self-isolate and drive infection rates down.
Alongside the test people will be offered advice and help with financial support that they may be entitled to if they need to self-isolate and help to access wider benefits.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Mass asymptomatic testing is vital to identifying new cases and stopping the spread of the pandemic. It’s great that our residents can now access testing at the Council’s premier sports centre and I would encourage everyone to get tested regularly. The rollout of community testing coupled with the impressive rate at which the vaccination programme is being delivered at sites across Chesterfield, is showing there is light at the end of the tunnel and hope that we will get through this difficult period for us all.”
Other established methods of testing for people with symptoms will continue alongside community testing and people who have a high temperature, continuous cough or have lost their sense of small or taste should book a test online in the usual way.
Dean Wallace, Director of Public Health at Derbyshire County Council, said: “Although rates of those testing positive are coming down, we need to do more to try and stop the chain of transmission.
“We know that many people are just not able to work from home, so these new centres are aimed at those who have to go out to work and mix with colleagues and the public. It is this group of people who are at the most risk of getting the virus, and with one in three who do have the virus showing no symptoms they can easily pass it on to anyone they come in to contact with.
“Please if you are still going out to work come to your nearest centre weekly and get a test to protect your families, colleagues and community.
“It only takes a few minutes and will make such a difference. The quicker we can get on top of this virus the sooner our lives can start to return to normal.”
Those attending the new community testing centre at Queen’s Park Sports Centre are asked not to bring bags or other items with them that they don’t consider to be essential but are asked to bring a fully charged smart phone if they have one to register their test result. Parents or guardians are asked to accompany those aged 11 to 16.
More information on community testing, including details of other testing centres across the county can be found on the Derbyshire County Council website.