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New coronavirus testing centre set up at Martlesham Heath for critical key workers

PUBLISHED: 07:11 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:42 25 September 2020

A new testing site for critical key workers - NHS staff and care staff, alongside teachers - has been set up at Martlesham Park and Ride  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A new testing site for critical key workers - NHS staff and care staff, alongside teachers - has been set up at Martlesham Park and Ride Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A new testing facility for critical key workers has been set up in Martlesham.

Martlesham Park and Ride, where a new Covid-19 testing centre has been set up for key workers. Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDMartlesham Park and Ride, where a new Covid-19 testing centre has been set up for key workers. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The centre, set up by Suffolk County Council, is a temporary measure and can only see a limited number of patients each day.

The key workers set to be tested at the centre include frontline NHS staff, social care and care home staff, ‘blue light’ services, frontline education staff in schools and early years settings.

Family members of those key workers will also be able to use the site if they are otherwise prevented from working.

Other members of the public, including schoolchildren, will not be tested at the facility.

The service will be by appointment only and is available seven days a week until Friday, October 9.

The testing will be done in patients’ cars, with a five-minute slot allocated to each person.

Those hoping to get a test must have shown symptoms such as a high cough, temperature and loss of taste or smell.

They must also not be able to get a test locally through the national booking system and their absence from their place of work must cause an operational risk to their organisation.

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The site is in addition to the current testing facility at the London Road Park and Ride near the Copdock Interchange in Ipswich, which is used for more general testing.

Critical key workers living in the Waveney area of Suffolk will still be encouraged to be tested over the border in Norfolk.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health in Suffolk, said: “By offering tests to key workers, such as nurses, teachers, firefighters or social care staff, more of Suffolk’s frontline staff will know if they have Covid-19.

“With a negative result, these workers can return to safely care for our vulnerable residents, teach our children and respond to 999 emergencies.

“Key workers and the work they do are vital to everyone in Suffolk, especially the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Once again I offer my thanks to all key workers in Suffolk, for their dedication and commitment to those they serve.”

Appointments can be made through employers.

MORE: What’s it been like sending your child back to school amid coronavirus fears?


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