Worcester MP Robin Walker has called on residents in his constituency to make use of recently introduced mass testing facilities. There are three sites in the city, two of which are dedicated to key workers from different professions, and one that is open for public appointments.

Worcester Arena is delivering 300 tests a day to staff and students of the university as well as police and fire service personnel, early years teachers, nursery staff, childminders and staff from Fort Royal School.

Members of the public can access a test at Kitson’s Pharmacy on Broad Street by clicking here. Worcester Cathedral is delivering 600 tests a day to members of the public, with special slots available for  key workers. These can be booked by clicking here. Both Kitson’s and the Cathedral are only available to people without Covid symptoms and pre-booking is compulsory.

The lateral flow tests give a result in around 15 minutes as they don’t require laboratory equipment. These tests, which use a mouth and/or nose swab, which is placed into a buffer solution, are designed to find positive cases more quickly to help break the chain of transmission.

About one in three people infected with Covid-19 show no symptoms and could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Making use of lateral flow testing could therefore contribute to stopping the flow of the virus in Worcester, but will require the support of residents.

Robin said:

“Lateral flow testing is one of a number of tools available to us to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“For a long time last year Worcester had case levels below the national average and this was thanks to the hard work and sacrifices made by residents here. Unfortunately the new variant discovered in December spreads more easily than the initial strain of the virus and case rates have risen significantly.

“The most effective way of stopping the spread is staying at home and keeping contacts to a minimum, but where this is not possible we should make use of the mass testing facilities available to us which contribute to ending the chains of transmission.”