New mass testing centre for Derbyshire Covid hotspot

A new coronavirus testing site is being set up in one of Derbyshire’s Covid hotspots.

People living in Heanor, Loscoe, Langley Mill, Shipley and Smalley will be able to get tested for the disease from Thursday, January 14, when a new station opens in the area.

The testing site has been set up at William Gregg VC Leisure Centre in Heanor and is expected to remain open until Wednesday, February 24.

The centre will be open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on weekends, and will offer rapid lateral flow tests.

Anyone who is over the age of 11 whether they have symptoms of Covid or not, and lives in the areas mentioned above will be eligible to turn up and get tested.

It comes as latest figures show that 651 people in Amber Valley have tested positive for the disease in the last seven days, giving it a rate of 508 cases per 100,000 people.

This is above the national average and only Derby, which has a rate of 635.8 per 100,000, has a higher rate in the county.

Dean Wallace, director of Public Health at Derbyshire County Council, said people without symptoms should get tested.

“If you live in Heanor, Loscoe, Langley Mill, Shipley or Smalley and don’t have any coronavirus symptoms please come and get a test,” he said.

“By getting tested you are doing the right thing and ultimately helping to stop the transmission of coronavirus.

“Around a third of those who have coronavirus do not have any symptoms, so this testing helps us to pick up these people and make sure they don’t spread the virus.

“You’ll be given one of the rapid lateral flow tests which give results in about 15 to 30 minutes.”

People who are displaying symptoms of the disease, such as a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, should book a test online through the usual method.

Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council, said he would urge everyone who could to go for a test.

“I’m pleased that we are to open a new testing centre and hope that local people will go along to get a test,” he said.

“We are also working with colleagues in Amber Valley to identify local businesses who have key workers and will be inviting them for testing, as this is now a crucial element of our testing programme.

“Getting a test doesn’t mean you can’t still catch the virus, so please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.”

People who are getting tested are being asked not to bring bags or other items they don’t consider to be essential, but are asked to bring a fully charged smartphone if they have one.

Anyone aged 11 to 16 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

You can find out what demand is like at centres when you want to go by visiting https://derbyshire.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html

Oakland Village and Community Care Centre in Hall Farm Road, Swadlincote, will be hosting vaccinations
(Image: Google Maps)

Meanwhile, Oakland Village, an extra-care facility in Swadlincote, has been chosen to become a designated community based vaccination centre.

People who are registered with a GP practice in the town will be invited to get their Covid-19 vaccine from Saturday, January 16.

Elaine Oughton, scheme manager of Oakland Village, said a lot of work had gone in to ensuring the site could be used for this purpose.

“This is a great achievement for me and the team as we have all worked very hard to ensure that Oakland Village is fit for purpose and accessible to our community,” she said.

“The pandemic has really affected the commercial side of our venue so we know that with the commencement of the community vaccine programme, it will be beneficial to the whole community and to us here at Oakland Village to get Swadlincote back up and running again.”

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