Kent’s asymptomatic COVID-19 testing sites have carried out almost 550,000 tests but now residents can now pick up tests from 322 community pharmacies across the county, as well as ordering them online.
With tests being so readily available, coupled with the decreasing case numbers in the county, some of the testing sites in Kent will be closing at the end of April. One site in each district will remain open, for people who choose not to access self-test kits.
The sites were initially set up for a six-week period in December and January, but the extensive programme has now been operating for more than 16 weeks and has identified 2,821 positive cases.
Recent government advice that everyone in England should be taking a symptom free test twice a week, was accompanied by the news that tests will now be available from pharmacies, workplaces and also to order online.
Nearly all community pharmacies in Kent have joined the collect scheme. For more information on where to get lateral flow tests, including community pharmacies, click here.
Director of Public Health for Kent, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “I am delighted that there are now more ways that residents in Kent can access testing kits and that we have the support of so many pharmacies in the county where people can now collect symptom free tests.
“Our symptom free testing sites will continue to deliver a fantastic service and we have been singled out by central government for the success of the programme in the county so far. The fact that people now have other options will hopefully increase the levels of testing even more and continue to identify anyone who is carrying the virus without knowing it.
“COVID-19 has not gone away. People are still being infected and any complacency now could jeopardise our route out of lockdown. We must keep up the pace and twice-weekly testing for everyone, including those who have been COVID-19 vaccinated, will give us an accurate picture of virus rates in communities and play a huge part in helping us to continue to drive down the number of infections and therefore save lives.
“I want testing for residents in Kent, from aged 5 upwards, to become part of everyone’s routine. The tests are so simple to do and give rapid results. We all brush our teeth at least twice a day – so a quick test twice a week is a simple but effective way of containing this virus and moving out of lockdown.”
Residents are still encouraged to visit asymptomatic sites but are advised to check and book online as several changes will be happening over the coming weeks.
THANET – Ramsgate Port Terminal site is now closed (18th April) and residents are asked to use centres at Birchington and Sandwich as alternatives. Kits can also be picked up at Manston and Margate (Dreamland car park) sites and from Asda Ramsgate.
ALL testing sites will be closed on the public holidays of 3rd and 31st May but will be operating between 9am and 7pm on all other days.
Details and bookings can be made here.