A Covid-19 testing site is to open full-time in Catterick Garrison as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing.
The Department of Health and Social Care plans to open the site fully on Thursday this week to increase testing capacity for people experiencing symptoms and to act as a collection point for lateral flow tests for those who qualify for them.
North Yorkshire’s director of public health, Louise Wallace, said: “We have worked hard throughout the pandemic to increase the level of testing across the county.
“We are pleased that this new site will increase the capacity and the convenience for residents and will help the county to drive down the infection rate further.”
The site, at Ypres Lines, Richmond Road, will be open between 8am and 8pm seven days a week.
Initially, it will be for symptomatic testing only.
Later, it may act as a collection point for lateral flow testing kits for those people eligible for them.
In that case, it would operate as a testing site from 8am to 1.30pm and as a collection point from 2.30pm to 8pm.
Only people experiencing Covid-19 symptoms – a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test.
Tests must be booked in advance.
Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.
Health and safety will be at the forefront of the operation and support will be available at the site for those who need it.
The Catterick site is being built by the DHSC today.
This will be followed by pilot testing on Wednesday before full 8am to 8pm operation for symptomatic testing only begins on Thursday.
The site will consist of units to house the testing facilities along with storage and facilities for staff.
Chief executive of Richmondshire District Council Tony Clark said: “We are pleased to see a testing site in Catterick – one which is easily accessible to everyone living in and around the largest garrison in the country.
“Throughout this pandemic we have been asking for extra provision in the district where there is often no public transport to get people to these sites.”
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Turner, Commander Catterick Garrison, said: “Catterick Garrison has been working in close partnership with the NHS and local authorities throughout the pandemic.
“We are very pleased to have been able to facilitate the opening of this new testing site in the Garrison Town Centre.
“We remain committed to doing everything possible to safeguard everyone who lives and works within our Garrison Community, as well as our wider efforts to support the NHS throughout North Yorkshire and the North East Region.”
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including drive-through sites, walk-through sites, mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.
Mobile testing units will continue to operate at locations around the county.