Cheshire East residents will be able to access lateral flow testing through a range of testing sites that go live from Monday 15 March.
Tests are open to all residents, but they must be pre-booked. No walk-up appointments will be available.
Lateral flow tests are designed to deliver targeted and focused, rapid testing for people without typical symptoms of Covid-19 but who may still be carrying the virus, undetected.
The test does not require laboratory processing and takes just 30 minutes to produce a result. The result is then sent to the individual via email and SMS confirmation within 45-60 minutes.
Regular testing of people without symptoms is important to help stop the virus spreading and protects your loved ones. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we all need to play our part to help protect each other.
From Monday 15 March, lateral flow testing can be undertaken at five new asymptomatic testing sites;
- Macclesfield Community Centre – Dukes Street, SK11 6UR;
- New Life Church, Danesford Community Ctr, West Road, Congleton, CW12 4EU;
- Wesley Centre, Sandbach – Wesley Avenue, CW11 1DG;
- Middlewich Community Church – Brooks Lane, CW10 0JG; and
- Prestbury Village Hall – Macclesfield Road, SK10 4BW
Testing is also available at selected pharmacies across Cheshire East. Residents can check for a participating pharmacy near them via this online booking facility.
Tests at both the asymptomatic testing sites and pharmacies are available on selected days of the week and must be booked in advanced using the online booking facility.
This booking facility is now live so residents can pre-book in advance of 15 March.
Residents struggling to book online can call the Cheshire East Council contact tracing team on 0300 123 5032, which will help residents to book an appointment slot.
Government guidance has been issued to advise that households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools and colleges should get tested twice-weekly. This also includes the wider school community including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
People within this category can collect lateral flow testing kits from either of the council’s two local testing sites from 1.30-7pm. These two sites are based at;
- Crewe – Chester Street car park, CW1 2ER
- Macclesfield – Commercial Road, SK10 2QJ
If people within this category cannot visit a testing site to collect kits, they can alternatively order kits online.
A positive result from a home testing kit does however require a second test in order to confirm the positive result. This must be a traditional Covid-19 test offered at the two testing sites in Crewe or Macclesfield, or a postal one ordered online. Although this is an inconvenience, it doesn’t affect the 10-day isolation start date, which will commence after the lateral flow positive result itself.
This is not the case for a positive result from lateral flow tests carried out in a pharmacy or at an asymptomatic testing site. No confirmatory test is needed, and self-isolation must start immediately upon receiving the results.
Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health for Cheshire East Council, said: “These new testing sites will enable us to deliver an effective screening programme to identify people who are asymptomatic but are unknowingly carrying the Covid-19 virus.
“The test is quick to take and provides rapid results in just 30 minutes. This means that when a negative result is received, that person can go about their normal day, within the current level of restrictions, and not have to isolate while waiting for results.
“The roll out of these rapid testing sites in Cheshire East does not replace the need for social distancing measures, good hand hygiene and the wearing of face masks. It’s still important for residents to remember hands, face and space.”