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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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New Coronavirus regional testing site in Newbury

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility has opened at the Newbury Showground in Newbury, as part of the Government's UK-wide drive to increase testing.

Test and Trace drive through

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, should book a test at: nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 to find out if they currently have coronavirus.  

The site sits alongside the existing network of testing sites being set up around the UK. Testing at the new site has already begun.

To increase testing for everyone with symptoms across the country, the Government has more than doubled the capacity of the NHS/PHE laboratory network, set up 64 regional test centres and 116 mobile testing units, and introduced home testing kits.

Anyone testing positive for the virus 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.

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Those tested will receive their results within a few days.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

"The Government continues to rapidly scale up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.

"This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.

"Anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus should stay at home and book a test."

Alison Brown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Newbury and District Agricultural Society, said:

"Everyone connected with the Newbury and District Agricultural Society is pleased and proud to have our Showground used in such an important way. Testing is so important for the community and nation."

Cllr Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:

"We are delighted that West Berkshire has a Covid-19 Regional Testing Site at Newbury Showground, which is a good location in regards to road access and size.

"The site is already operational and the opportunity to have this drive through testing site means residents who need testing do not need to travel as far as Oxford but can access something locally. The opportunity to have a permanent testing site, as well as mobile testing sites, in West Berkshire is a reassurance to help increase testing for all across the district.

"I would encourage all residents to continue to protect each other and our wider community by following the national guidelines and to use the test centres if you have symptoms."

Tessa Lindfield, Strategic Director of Public Health for Berkshire, said: 

"We welcome the news that a new regional testing site will be located in Newbury. Being able to get a test quickly is critical to the success of the National Test and Trace Service. Not only will the new test site provide greater access to the residents of West Berkshire, but will also serve our neighbouring authorities in Berkshire."

In addition to the regional test sites, 116 mobile testing units operated by the Armed Forces travel around the UK to further increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons. New units are being brought into operation each day.

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.