Northampton rapid Covid-19 test site reverts to university staff and students only from Monday

Three county sites offering half-hour swab results for those who have the virus but don't know it

Friday, 5th March 2021, 1:35 pm

Health chiefs have revealed one of Northampton s two community sites for rapid coronavirus testing will no longer be available to the public from Monday.

The unit at University of Northampton using lateral flow devices to offer regular testing for key workers and identify carriers who don't know they have the virus.

But last month's announcement of some students returning to campus on Monday means the UoN site will be used to test students and staff only.

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Northamptonshire's other LFD sites at Danes Camp Leisure Centre, Lodge Park in Corby and in Brackley will continue, although tests need to be booked online HERE.

Demand for the tests — which deliver results within half-an-hour — is likely to fall as bigger companies and schools introduce their own testing schemes in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Rhosyn Harris, consultant in public health at Northamptonshire County Council said: “The team at the University of Northampton have provided us with an excellent community testing resource during the winter period.

“The University has been asked by Government to return to face-to-face teaching for students with a practical element to their course that cannot be taught remotely from Monday 8th March, and therefore it is right that the site is repurposed to support the students and staff on campus.

UoN's testing unit opened in November for staff and students but was used to test the wider public during lockdown
UoN's testing unit opened in November for staff and students but was used to test the wider public during lockdown

"There are alternative community testing sites across the county and more sites are in development."

University of Northampton opened its rapid testing unit in November but opened its doors to the wider community after January's lockdown prevented students returning to campus after the Christmas break.

Lateral flow devices do not confirm those tested do NOT have coronavirus but can pick out those who do but have no symptoms and would otherwise risk spreading infections through the community.

Those who test positive are told to self-isolate and book a PCN swab test. The can be booked through the government's website HEREor by calling the national booking line on 119.