COVID-19 Community Testing to start this week

Published Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Community testing for Coronavirus is to start for Coventry residents from tomorrow. (16 December)

A member of the public uses the Testing Centre

A walk-in centre is to open in Priory Street, close to Coventry Cathedral in the city centre, for anyone who is not showing symptoms of the virus. There is no need to book an appointment.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, should immediately seek a free test in the normal way by calling 119 or visiting the NHS website.

The new community testing offer will be held in Coventry University’s Priory Building on Priory Street and was used by the university to test students before they returned home for the Christmas break.

It will be run by redeployed Coventry City Council workers and volunteers from across the city and involves a Lateral Flow Test.

This is a swab test that gives results in less than an hour. It does not need to go to a lab. The test checks if people are infectious, even if they do not have symptoms.

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat.  People carry out their own swabs and then trained staff will process the result.

People can walk-in for a test from 9am until 5pm from Monday to Friday. The service will be open over Christmas apart from at weekends and Bank Holidays.

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Last week, we saw the first vaccinations take place in Coventry and that is great news, but the roll-out will take some time and we still need to do all we can to halt the spread.

“Testing is a key weapon in the battle against coronavirus and this week marks a significant step in our city’s work to return to a more normal way of life.

“It has been made possible by a group of dedicated and selfless volunteers, including Council staff, workers from our partners and residents who have  stepped forward to help others.

“Thank you to all our volunteers, and to Coventry University for generously allowing us to use their building that is right in the heart of the city centre, so we can reach as many people as possible.”

Liz Gaulton Director of Public Health, added: “This community testing is for people who are seeking assurance that they do not have the virus – perhaps carers of vulnerable people or people about to spend time in Christmas bubbles.

“Around a quarter of people who have the virus but display no symptoms, so it is important to get tested and make sure you are not inadvertently spreading coronavirus, especially at this time of year when we may be meeting more vulnerable relatives.

“It is a quick and easy test that you do yourself and the results are back very quickly to give you peace of mind. We think it will be very popular, and if there is sufficient demand, we will look to extend the opening hours, or open other sites in the city.”

People arriving for a free test, will be asked for a form of ID and a socially distanced queueing system will be in place if it is needed.

The centre is in the University’s Priory Building on Priory Street, just a short distance from the Cathedral steps as you walk towards Pool Meadow.

Coventry University’s Deputy-Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Ian Marshall said: “ We are delighted to be able to offer the use of the testing facility we have created in our Priory Sports Hall on our Coventry city centre campus to test the local community. 

“Our testing regime designed to give asymptomatic students the chance to be tested before travelling home for Christmas ran smoothly and effectively, and we have every confidence that the use of our facility will be an invaluable resource for the council in their continuing hard work to keep the people of Coventry safe.

“We are determined to continue working with our students, staff and the communities in which we are located to do everything we can in our united efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.”

Anyone with any of the main COVID symptoms should seek a test in the normal way – dial 119 or by visiting the NHS website.

To see more about coronavirus, local restrictions and support, visit our coronavirus webpages.

Coventry City Council