Residents across Medway are being encouraged to continue to regularly book symptom-free coronavirus tests, as national lockdown restrictions are gradually eased.
We are continuing to offer symptom-free testing for everyone who lives or works in Medway.
With more people anticipated to be out in the community over the coming months as part of the government’s roadmap to recovery plans, it remains just as important that people continue to regularly take a symptom-free coronavirus test to protect them, their families and people around them. One in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms, meaning that someone could be highly infectious without being aware of it.
Medway was the first area in the south-east to launch symptom-free testing in December 2020 and so far, more than 118,000 tests have been carried out in Medway. Of those, 1,297 people tested positive for coronavirus and were immediately told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace programme.
From Thursday, 1 April Medway residents will be able to book a symptom-free test at four sites across Medway, including one new centre:
- Chattenden Community Centre in Hoo
- The Oast in Rainham
- The Deep End in Chatham (limited opening hours only)
- *NEW* MidKent College in Gillingham
The testing centres at Medway Park in Gillingham and Rochester Cathedral will close on Wednesday, 31 March.
New outreach teams will also work with community organisations to offer testing to harder to reach groups and communities who may find it difficult to access testing sites. Our Public Health Team will also continue to regularly review local COVID infection rates, and prioritising community groups in areas where coronavirus cases are increasing. We are also working with the Department of Health and Social Care, to facilitate the collection of symptom-free home test kits from its local sites. More information on who may be eligible to use this innovative service from Tuesday, 6 April, will be available in due course.
Secondary school pupils, college students and teaching staff are also being encouraged to regularly take a coronavirus test in line with government guidance, and schools and colleges have testing kits available to assist with this.
Parents, carers and relatives of schoolchildren (at primary, secondary or college age), as well as residents in childcare and support bubbles, are also encouraged to take symptom-free tests and can collect symptom-free home testing kits from their nearest home test collection centre or order them online. Eligible households are encouraged to take the tests at home twice a week.
We must not be complacent
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Medway’s symptom-free testing centres are continuing to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and drive down the number of cases locally. All Medway residents are able to book a test and it is incredibly important that we all continue to do so to protect ourselves, and our loved ones, from this deadly virus.
“We are all looking forward to getting back to the things we love when it is safe to do so but we must not be complacent. It is vital that we all continue to follow the latest government advice and continue to follow social distancing guidelines.”
We all need to play our part
James Williams, Medway Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Symptom-free testing is an important tool to help reduce the spread of coronavirus across Medway. I would encourage residents to continue to book tests regularly. Medway’s infection rate remains below the national average and it’s vital that we keep it that way. As the government’s roadmap to recovery continues to progress and lockdown measures are eased, we will see more people out in the community. It is incredibly important that we all work together to keep each other safe. We all need to play our part in the fight against coronavirus.”
Book a coronavirus test
No symptoms: If you do not have any symptoms of coronavirus, you can book your test online
Symptoms: If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should access a test through the national symptomatic testing programme online, or by calling 119.