New drive through coronavirus testing facilities to be set up in Suffolk and Essex
PUBLISHED: 14:47 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 March 2020
Drive-through coronavirus testing facilities are being set up in Suffolk and Essex, the NHS has confirmed.
The new facilities will be set up at the Hartismere Hospital in Eye as well as at Clacton and Newmarket Hospitals.
They are part of a wider range of testing being rolled out nationwide with the NHS' strategic incident director for coronavirus having asked health services in every part of England to set up home and community testing.
Other drive-through testing facilities are already in use in places like London, Edinburgh and Wrexham in Wales.
To have a test taken at the new drive-through areas patients must be referred by NHS 111.
Once this has taken place people are asked to attend an appointment at the facilities in their car.
Community nurses then take a sample by swabbing the patient's nose and mouth.
The results of the swabs are then checked and assessed within 72 hours to see if the patient has coronavirus.
While the checks are carried out on the samples patients are asked to self-isolate to make sure the virus is not passed on should the patient test positive.
A spokesman for NHS England said: 'Our health and care system is working hard to ensure local people are best supported while the outbreak of coronavirus continues.
'A new drive service for people who have been referred by the NHS 111 telephone assessment service has been set up in Hartismere Hospital.
'The facility is not a drop-in centre and only those who meet the nationally agreed criteria for a suspected case will be asked to attend.
'If someone is concerned about contracting coronavirus, they should visit the NHS 111 online advice pages or call NHS 111.'