New COVID-19 rapid testing centres to open in Suffolk

Published

A further seven rapid testing centres for COVID-19 are to open in Suffolk.

These tests are for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus and cannot work from home.

The sites will open over the next week in Felixstowe, Martlesham, Mildenhall, Stowmarket and Sudbury, with further centres opening in Ipswich and Lowestoft.

It brings to 12 the total number of centres around the county using lateral flow testing to identify people who may have coronavirus but who do not have symptoms.

One in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms so regular testing is vital in breaking the chain of infection and keeping Suffolk safe.

Suffolk County Council is also finalising with the government the opening of a further 16 smaller sites to serve rural communities. The centres are for anyone living or working in the towns and surrounding area who are unable to work from home.

Employers are also being urged to encourage their staff to book regular testing.

The testing sites are operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council (SCC) seven days a week between 7am and 6pm. Tests should be booked in advance.

The new centres opening are:

  • Wednesday February 10 – Brackenbury Sports Centre, High Road East, Felixstowe
  • Thursday February 11 – Whitton Sports Centre, Whitton Church Lane, Whitton, Ipswich
  • Friday February 12 – Museum of East Anglian Life, off Iliffe Way, Stowmarket
  • Monday February 15 – Waterlane Leisure Centre, Water Lane, Lowestoft
  • Tuesday February 16 – Martlesham Community Hall, Felixstowe Road, Martlesham
  • Wednesday February 17 – The Pavilion, Recreation Way, Mildenhall
  • Thursday February 18 – The Stevenson Centre, Stevenson Approach, Great Cornard, Sudbury

There are already facilities at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, the STEM Centre in Western Way at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill Arts Centre, St Etheldreda’s parish centre in Newmarket, and Kirkley & Pakefield FC in Lowestoft.

Lateral flow testing involves taking a swab from the throat and nose to see whether coronavirus is present in the body.

The person tested will then receive a text message giving the result within an hour.

Anyone giving a positive test will be told to self-isolate and advised on what to do next.

People are being asked to get tested twice a week, three to four days apart, as part of their weekly routine.

Anyone receiving a negative result needs to continue to follow the social distancing guidance as they may only be at the early stages of developing the virus.

This is in case levels of the virus in a person at the earlier test were too low to be detected at that time.

The centres are being run by contractors Commisceo on behalf of SCC through government funding. Appointments for tests can be made through registering on the booking website or calling 0333 772 6144.

The centres are only for people not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Anyone who is showing symptoms, or who may have been in close contact with someone who has, should not visit the centre.

Instead, they should ring 119 or go to the NHS website to book a test at one of the 12 symptomatic testing sites in Suffolk.

Read more details about testing.

Watch Stuart Keeble, Director of Public Health for Suffolk, talk about the roll-out of community testing in the county and why it is so important.