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Further coronavirus testing facilities opening in Suffolk and north Essex

PUBLISHED: 17:42 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:42 05 May 2020

The drive-through testing centre near the Copdock interchange in Ipswich has tested more than 3,000 people Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The drive-through testing centre near the Copdock interchange in Ipswich has tested more than 3,000 people Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More testing units for Covid-19 are arriving across Suffolk and north Essex as health bosses ramp up plans to track the spread of the virus.

More coronavirus testing facilities are arriving in Suffolk and north Essex Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMore coronavirus testing facilities are arriving in Suffolk and north Essex Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mobile units have already opened in Haverhill, Lowestoft and Newmarket, with plans to introduce more in Clacton, Leiston and Eye in the coming weeks.

The Ministry of Defence are assisting in the construction of the temporary facilities as health experts encourage key workers and eligible residents to get tested for coronavirus whenever they can.

A drive-through testing facility for the virus opened at the Copdock Interchange in Ipswich in April, testing more than 3,000 people so far.

Another unit opened at a leisure centre in Dovercourt, near Harwich, a week later.

But authorities are keen to open more testing units throughout the region to prevent residents making long journeys during the lockdown.

All essential workers, people aged 65 or over or anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be eligible to take a test at the new facilities.

The Department of Health and Social Care says it aims to return results of tests carried out within 48 hours.

The Haverhill facility will be open until the end of Wednesday, while the Newmarket site is closing on Thursday.

No closing date has currently been set for the Lowestoft facility.

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk and Essex

Suffolk has so far had 1,139 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with the number for Essex currently at 2,699.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, has reported the deaths of 269 patients who had tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, the trust responsible for West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has confirmed 44 people being treated for Covid-19 have died.

Tony Goldson, chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “If people have had symptoms then they should get tested to see if they have coronavirus.

“If you have any concerns then you should be tested - it is better to be safe than sorry.

“The answer to the crisis is a vaccination, but this will be months away.

“A lot of money has been poured into the testing scheme so it is best to get tested if you can.”

MORE: Third of all care home deaths in Suffolk related to Covid-19 in last month


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