Date published: 27 April 2021
From left to right: Ian Knowles (Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council), Alice Ross (Test Site Supervisor), Kerry O'Neill (Everyone Active Manager), Simon Hunt (Health and Safety Coordinator at WLDC), and Andy Gray (Housing and Enforcement Manager at WLDC)
Any member of the public not showing symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can access supervised testing in Gainsborough and Market Rasen from this week. (26/04)
From this week, all members of the public can get a rapid-turnaround lateral flow test from the West Lindsey Leisure Centre in Gainsborough or the Festival Hall facility in Market Rasen. The tests will be supplied by the NHS Test and Trace and provide results within the hour. Home Testing Kits will also be available to be collected at both facilities, both of which will be open from 9.30-5pm each weekday.
West Lindsey District Council is working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, Everyone Active (West Lindsey Leisure Centre provider) and Market Rasen Town Council to increase access to testing.
This will help to identify those who unknowingly have the virus and enable those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate, which can help drive down the R rate locally and save lives.
Ian Knowles, Chief Executive at West Lindsey District Council urged residents to make testing part of their new routine. He said: “I am delighted that we are able to support the expansion of local testing here in West Lindsey.
The lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in identifying cases quickly – and anything we as a local authority can do to help stop the spread has to be welcomed.
I would urge individuals to make use of the tests to ensure we are able to keep the most vulnerable people in our community safe. I would also like to thank our partners SLM and Market Rasen Town Council for providing space in parts of their premises so that we can offer this service.
Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people so they can isolate and stop the spread of the virus.
Natalie Liddle, Acting Head of Service – Health Protection, said: "Community testing for key workers who don't know they are carrying the virus has already proved its worth across sites in Lincolnshire.
“If we want to keep infection rates down and stop people unknowingly spreading the virus among family and friends then rapid testing will play a major part. With the easing of restrictions and the gradual return to normal life it's more vital than ever that we don't become complacent.
“I'd urge local residents in West Lindsey to use the testing sites provided in Gainsborough and Market Rasen – the more we know about infection rates the better. Remember, this is for those people who aren't showing symptoms of the virus - if you have any symptoms please self-isolate and book a test through the national system as soon as possible.”
Kerry O’ Neill, Everyone Active’s Contract Manager, said: “We are really pleased the centres can support in the fight against the coronavirus. They play a key role in the local community and we’re extremely happy to be doing our part. We hope it will go a long way to containing the spread.”
Lucy Waller, Town Clerk at Market Rasen Town Council, said: “Market Rasen Town Council has been privileged to work alongside various partner agencies supporting the local community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We are therefore pleased to be able to support West Lindsey District Council to provide further vital rapid testing services to the residents of Market Rasen and the wider district. The wellbeing of our residents is of huge importance to the Town Council and we join with West Lindsey District Council in urging residents to make use of the new testing facility.”
Swabbing and processing of the tests will be conducted at the site by trained personnel. Anyone testing positive will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts and they will be asked to stay at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus and advise to book a test if they develop symptoms.