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Rapid result test centres now open to all in Cumbria

Written by on 30/03/2021

With lockdown rules now allowing people to meet outside in groups of up to six people, or two households, Cumbria County Council’s 11 rapid-result COVID-19 test centres are now able to offer tests to all Cumbrians.

The centres were previously only open to essential workers who were unable to work from home, but with people being able to mix more socially outside, the decision has been taken to make Lateral Flow Testing available to anyone in the community who does not have COVID-19 symptoms but wants a test to help keep themselves, their family and those they come into contact with, safe.

The current sites are include Kendal, Milnthorpe, Sedbergh, Dalton, Barrow-in-Furness and Millom with others being scoped. There are also several sites in other parts of Cumbria.

The rapid result test centres use Lateral Flow Device tests which are processed on site without needing to be sent to a laboratory. The tests give a result in 30 minutes and help identify asymptomatic carriers, people who do not feel unwell but do have COVID-19 and are infectious. These people can then self-isolate to protect others.

Getting tested is simple and takes about 15 minutes and results are sent by text or email normally within an hour, meaning people don’t have to hang around.

The tests are free and no booking is required, but please note the test sites are located in school premises, so are only open for testing at the times stated.

People who do have symptoms of coronavirus should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. They should not attend a Lateral Flow Community Testing Site with symptoms.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:
“Mass Lateral Flow Testing of those without symptoms is a key part of the national and local strategy for preventing the spread of Covid, getting us out of lockdown and keeping case rates low to avoid another wave.

“With lockdown restrictions easing a little and people coming into more contact with others, this is the next phase of our testing strategy to open these test centres up to the whole population. Some people might need a regular test because of their job or work they do in the community, others might want the reassurance of a test before meeting with family and friends, or after coming into contact with others, especially if they are vulnerable.

“There is a lot of misinformation online about Lateral Flow Tests, but we are confident they are a credible tool to help fight the virus. They pick up the majority of cases where people are likely to be infectious, and the rate of false positives is low – and positive cases are now all being checked and confirmed by a PCR test as well. So I’d encourage people to take up the offer of getting tested regularly, which alongside maintaining good social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing will go a long way to protect yourself and others and keep the rate of transmission low.”

Test centre opening times in South Cumbria:

Kendal: Queen Katherine School, Appleby Rd, Kendal LA9 6PJ

Thursdays 5.15pm to 7.30pm

Saturdays 9.15am to 12.30pm

Millom: Millom School, Salthouse Road, Millom, LA18 5AB

Saturdays 9.15am to 12.30pm

Wednesdays 5.15pm to 7.30pm

Milnthorpe: Tristrams Sports Field (not the main school), Heversham, Milnthorpe, LA7 7EW

Tuesdays 5.15pm to 7.30pm

Sedbergh: Settlebeck School, Long Lane, Sedbergh, LA10 5AL

Monday 5.15pm to 7.30pm

Dalton: Dowdales School, Dalton-In-Furness, LA15 8AH (Please Park at bottom and walk up drive)

Monday 4.15pm to 6.30pm

Thursday 4.15pm to 6.30pm

Barrow: Furness Academy Park Drive, Barrow-In-Furness, LA13 9BB

Tuesday 5.15pm to 7.30pm

Thursday 5.15pm to 7.30pm