Second test centre opens

A second drive-in Covid-19 mobile testing unit has opened today (Friday September 11) at Odd Down Park and Ride.

It is in addition to the temporary Covid-19 mobile testing unit at Paulton Football Club which will be available until September 21.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s public health team has arranged the additional unit to give more people better access to local testing.

The Department of Health and Social Care has reported an increase in demand for testing and says the service is currently very busy. It is asking anyone who tries to book a test and is unable to do so, or who is offered a location or time which is not convenient to please wait a few hours and then try again.

Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said; “I am extremely pleased that our public health team has not only secured the extension of the Paulton mobile testing unit but has now secured a second testing unit which will be at Odd Down Park and Ride.

“This will help many residents to avoid lengthy journeys to get tested. It is important to remember however, you must only get tested if you are symptomatic and if you have symptoms you still need to self-isolate while you wait to get tested.”

Both MTUs are part of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme and anyone who thinks they may have coronavirus symptoms can book a test by visiting https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested. People without internet access can dial 119.

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

You can ask for a test for a child who lives with you if they have coronavirus symptoms, whatever their age.

Residents attending both units for test should arrive by car and not use public transport. The postcode for Paulton Football Club is BS39 7RF and for Odd Down is  BA2 8PA 

Tests at the mobile testing units are subject to availability and if all appointments are booked, an alternative testing site will be offered.

People with symptoms are also advised to self-isolate at home. No one in the household or its support bubble should leave home if any one person has symptoms. There is more guidance on what this involves on the government’s website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

For tests to be effective you must be symptomatic. Symptoms of the virus are a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell. More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/

More guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#who-can-be-tested

The Compassionate Community Hub offers support and advice for vulnerable people who are self-isolating. Click on this link for more info https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/wellbeing-resources or call 0300 247 0050.

For all council service updates visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath

Responding to the announcement of the opening of a new drive-in Covid testing centre in Odd Down, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse commented:

“This is very good news. It is an important first step in ensuring that everyone in Bath has access to a test if they need it and further protects our community against the threat of a Covid-19 outbreak.”

“I have been hearing from far too many people in Bath, especially parents with young children, over the last week who have encountered unacceptable difficulties in trying to book tests for members of their household. They had to wait hours on the Government website which has not been able to keep up with demand. Then they were asked to travel absurd distances to be tested. With cases of Covid on the rise across the country, it is so important that Bath has the necessary testing facilities within easy reach of its residents.”

“The centre in Odd Down is an important first step; however we must keep up the pressure to improve the testing infrastructure and introduce more walk-in testing centres. Odd Down is a good solution for people in Bath who have their own private vehicle but for those who do not have this luxury, options remain extremely limited. This issue has grown even more pronounced with the failure of the Government to provide enough home testing kits.”

“I will continue to campaign for a walk-in testing site in Bath’s city centre. I am pleased about the progress that has been made and am hopeful that a walk-in site, in the centre of Bath, is on the horizon.”