A drive-through coronavirus testing facility has opened in Curtis Way, Rochester, as part of the government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 and you can expect your result the next day.
Testing at the new site started on Thursday, 3 September, with more appointments available each day. Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including 72 drive-through sites, 64 walk-through sites, 236 mobile units, mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five laboratories.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.
Get tested as close to home as possible
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “We fully support the opening of regional testing sites to ensure that if our residents develop COVID-19 symptoms they are able to get tested as close to home as possible. We have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the front line for their tireless hard work. We must all play our part to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”
We all need to continue to play our part in reducing the spread of coronavirus
Medway Council’s Director of Public Health, James Williams, said: "This site will support the comprehensive testing programme we have in place across Kent and Medway. It is incredibly important that we all continue to play our part in reducing the spread of coronavirus. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 book a test as quickly as possible. I would also encourage residents to continue to follow government advice and guidance if they are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace system."
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with G4S and will offer assisted and self-administered tests.
Inspiring to see the enthusiasm of our employees
Gordon Brockington, G4S Director said: "We are proud of our important role in setting up and managing this Covid-19 testing site, and other similar sites across the UK. It has been inspiring to see the enthusiasm of our employees to step up and support the government, our health services and the public during this crisis."
The government has set up a home-testing service, supported by Amazon's logistics network and other commercial partners. Home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.