Derbyshire County Council is set to open new covid-19 testing centres in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire this week.
One in 3 of those who have coronavirus 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 in the county.
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.
Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace 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 3 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.”
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.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said: “I’m pleased that we are now setting up these new centres.
“It has been a real team effort with colleagues from across the council getting involved to help.
“We’re also grateful to colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service who have helped move equipment round the county and helped to get things in place. Thanks also go to the district and borough councils who have helped in providing venues for us to use.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to the fantastic support we have had from the RAF. They joined us just before Christmas and helped us get our Swadlincote sites set up. Thank you to you all.
“Getting a test doesn’t mean you can’t still catch the virus, so please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.”
Those attending 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. Parents or guardians are asked to accompany those aged 11 to 16.
The centre in Chesterfield will be at Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield and will open on Wednesday 10 February 2021.
North East Derbyshire’s centre will open on Friday 12 February 2021 and will be at Clay Cross Social Centre, Market Street, Clay Cross.
The Chesterfield and Clay Cross centres will open 7 days a week, 9am to 7pm. To find out what the demand is like at the centres when you want to go along, visit the Derbyshire COVID-19 test centre finder .