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Testing capacity to be doubled at community testing centre

Published: Friday, 25th September 2020

400 more coronavirus tests over two days are to be made available to Stoke-on-Trent residents following a further extension of community testing from Monday 28 September.

It means Stoke-on-Trent City Council, working with the NHS and partners, is doubling the capacity at their community testing site. The facilities have been put in place as a local solution to respond to a national shortage of capacity. The community testing centre is in addition to regional and mobile test centres which are organised nationally. The news about the expansion follows four hundred additional tests being made available to Stoke-on-Trent residents during the last two weeks. 

Now due to the success of earlier pilots, times will be extended and test capacity will be increased so that more people can be tested if they have coronavirus symptoms.  The centre will once again be housed at Fenton Manor Sports Complex.  It will be open for bookable test appointments on 28 and 29 September between 9.00am and 2.30pm.

Two hundred tests a day – double the amount of previous pilots - will be available for residents displaying coronavirus symptoms although people are still urged not to turn up without an appointment. Residents are also being reminded that due to the continued shortage of tests nationally, if they are successful in their booking, they need to make every effort to turn up. The reminder comes after 47 people failed to turn up for testing last week.

The booking line for appointments goes live from 9.00am on Sunday (27 September) and is bookable 24 hours in advance for anyone with symptoms. Before trying to book at the pilot centre, people should first try to get a testing appointment through the national system. The regional testing centre is at the Stoke City FC South Car Park. Bookings can be made via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or ringing 119, where help is available in other languages.

If not successful though the national booking, people can book for a community test 24 hours in advance on a rolling basis if they are showing coronavirus symptoms. Residents can book from Sunday (27 September) at 9.30am on www.stoke.gov.uk for Fenton Manor bookings. If residents do need to cancel their booking, they are urged to please follow the instruction on their confirmation email.

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “Due to the success of the work that’s been done to date and the benefits this has brought to Stoke-on-Trent residents, we’re expanding testing for local people. Securing more tests and making them available to people across the city has taken a lot of hard work but we know it’s really making a difference.

“It shows that local solutions are working and that through collaboration with partners, we can effectively manage testing for residents in the city. It means hundreds more people were able to get back to work and school in Stoke-on-Trent and be confident that they weren’t spreading the virus.

“Expanding capacity means we can get more people back to their daily lives safely and quickly and that’s so important at this time. The future is in our hands and continuing doing the right thing – whether that’s securing more testing for Stoke-on-Trent, washing hands regularly, making space or covering our faces – will make the difference.”

Appointments are only available for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire residents who are showing symptoms of coronavirus. Those who do get an appointment should follow Covid-19 guidelines when they visit including following social distancing advice, wearing a face covering and using hand sanitiser.

Attendees need to bring proof of residency in Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire when they are being tested. This can include a photo driving licence, bank statement within a month, most recent council tax statement and a utility bill dated within three months and can be in hard copy or via a mobile device.

The centre remains open to leisure centre users and there will be an alternative entrance for those who are due to be tested and a strict one-way system in place to ensure the building remains Covid-secure.

Booking information for residents making an appointment at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, City Road, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2RR:

  • Please do not turn up if you do not have an appointment. Please try to book via the national booking system first.
  • Closer parking has been arranged nearer to the testing room, in the bus layby, for those with appointments, so unless directed, please do not park on the main leisure centre car park. 
  • The testing room cannot be accessed through the main leisure centre entrance. Follow the signs and any marshal instructions. 
  • Disabled access is available for those unable to climb steps. 
  • Attend on your own, unless you need personal assistance or cannot arrange childcare.
  • Wear a face covering throughout your visit (except as directed by medical staff) and stay 2m distance from any staff or other members of the public
  • On arrival, go to the testing room directly and return home as soon as your test is complete
  • People must not arrive more than five mins ahead of their appointment
  • Be ready to verify your identity and booking reference
  • Bookings can be cancelled via email confirmations.

Reporting local outbreaks or issues

  • In Stoke-on-Trent

Email tracecovid19@stoke.gov.uk or telephone 01782 231222.

-Ends-

For all media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.

www.stoke.gov.uk/news

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