Coronavirus: new testing site opens in Preston Park, Brighton

A NEW walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened in a city park.

The NHS testing centre opened today in Preston Park, Brighton, the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed this morning.

Testing at the site has begun and is only available to anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

READ MORE: More than 700 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Sussex

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should self-isolate immediately and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. 

The Argus: Photos: Eddie MitchellPhotos: Eddie Mitchell

The new site is designed to be more accessible for those without a car, and has been set up in addition to the sites in East Brighton Park and at the former King’s School site in High Street, Portslade.

Anyone attending an appointment will be issued guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

SEE ALSO: Sussex split by Covid tiers

People are advised to walk or cycle and not use public transport or a taxi.

Those being tested are required to follow public health safety measures, including social distancing, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout the process, including while travelling to and from the centre. 

The Argus: The testing site at East Brighton ParkThe testing site at East Brighton Park

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch.

“We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.

“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live.

“If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Sodexo and will offer self-administered tests.

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Anyone who tests positive for the virus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts.

Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “Sodexo teams have moved quickly to set up Covid-19 testing centres as part of the industry-wide effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Brighton site will mean more people can be tested. I am proud of our colleagues who are working together with pace and dedication to support the NHS.”   

The new centre is one of more than 700 testing sites across the UK, including 82 drive-through sites, 411 walk-through sites and 258 mobile units.

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