The unit set up to take samples from members of the public to test for coronavirus will operate during a two hour window from Sunday 22 March.
The unit will be staffed from 10am – midday seven days a week. The hub for community testing opened at the Grandstand on Friday morning (20 March) and is designed to streamline the task of sample-taking in one location.
Staff are now testing people referred to them on the day by clinicians at the COVID 111 helpline who have assessed their symptoms. The new hours will ensure that processing is undertaken in a manageable way, now that the team has caught up with a backlog.
Once swabs are taken they have to be prepared for dispatch to the UK by air, where they are taken to a specialist laboratory for analysis. The process involves a number of protocols and so the operating hours of the mobile unit tie in with the admin side of the process later in the day.
The public are reminded they should not attend the unit asking for a test unless they have been referred there via COVID 111.