A new rapid testing service for people without COVID-19 symptoms is coming to Newtown for four weeks from 7 June.
People living, working and studying in the Newtown area can drop in to the Park Street Day Centre in Newtown between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week for a free test.
This pilot programme will help Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council to understand more about the spread of coronavirus in the county, and to prevent future outbreaks.
Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board, said:
“We know that one in three people can have coronavirus without displaying the classic symptoms of fever (high temperature), new continuous cough and loss of or change to sense of smell or taste. So, this programme will help us gather a very comprehensive picture of coronavirus in the Newtown area. The information we gather will help us to Keep Powys Safe, we hope it will support us all to further steps to the ease restrictions on our daily life.
“Whilst coronavirus cases in the Newtown area are currently very low, we also know that new variants are a continuing threat for all of us in Wales. Testing people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is a useful tool to identify any new variants and help us stop them in their tracks.”
The asymptomatic testing centre will use Lateral Flow Devices to check for the presence of coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive use the Lateral Flow Device will be referred to the town's testing centre for a PCR test.
Cllr Beverley Baynham, Powys County Council Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services said:
“A key benefit in choosing Newtown as the location of our asymptomatic testing centre in Newtown is the ability to refer people quickly for a PCR test in the town.
“As well as helping us to understand more about the spread of coronavirus in Powys, this will be a vital opportunity for us to trial this type of mass testing centre operate in a rural setting. Testing will continue to be vital in preventing future waves of coronavirus, and in preventing further pandemics. So, our experience of running an asymptomatic testing centre in Newtown will also play a vital role in our preparedness for the future. It will mean that we have a tried and tested model of community testing that we can put in place quickly if we face outbreaks in future.”
“We are encouraging everyone to come along and take the test. Our centre is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm at the Park Street Day Centre until 4 July. You can drop in any time between 10am and 6pm.”
All of Wales is at alert level 2, and it remains vital for all of us to continue to follow the latest guidance to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This includes following social distancing rules and wearing a face covering.
The developments of the centre is a joint project between Powys Teaching Health Board, Powys County Council, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Welsh Government.
This service is for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. People with symptoms should continue to book a test at our testing centres across Powys or request a test by post by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119 (7am to 11pm). People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119.
It is open to all ages, but people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What to do if you have a positive lateral flow test result
More information about Lateral Flow testing in Wales is available from the Welsh Government website at Lateral flow testing for people without symptoms | GOV.WALES
More information about Coronavirus Testing in Powys is available from the Powys Teaching Health Board website at https://pthb.nhs.wales/find/ttp