Leisure centre transformed into pop-up Covid-19 testing facility

The Dovercourt Bay Lifestyle leisure centre is being used as a pop-up testing facility for the next

The Dovercourt Bay Lifestyle leisure centre is being used as a pop-up testing facility for the next three days. Picture: TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A leisure centre in north Essex has been temporarily transformed into a pop-up Covid-19 testing centre for key workers this morning - and will be there for the next three days.

The Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles leisure centre, owned and run by Tendring District Council (TDC), was closed at the beginning of lockdown but has now been reopened by the army as a mobile testing unit.

These pop-up centres can be assembled in just 20 minutes and will be testing key workers who are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Neil Stock OBE, TDC leader, is pleased the authority is able to lend a helping hand to the fight against coronavirus and said: “Though we are not carrying out the testing ourselves, we are pleased to support our partners in the health service and the military as they carry out this important work.

“The testing strategy will support people to get a diagnosis, and if negative help key workers back into their roles to support others during these difficult times.”


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Specially-trained military personnel are collecting swabs at the facility, which are then sent to a lab for testing and the results are delivered in 48 hours.

The centre has been opened for essential workers or members of their household with symptoms of the virus and the council have advised the test is done most effectively within three days of the symptoms starting.

Tests are allocated via an online appointment system but as today is the first day, key workers can turn up with ID to be admitted.

The full definition of a key worker and who should be getting tested can be found on the government website.

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