New walk-through coronavirus testing site opens in Chard

A brand new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened at Chard’s Guildhall this week, as Somerset County Council continues to make testing widely available and accessible across the county.

Achieved with the co-operation of Chard Town Council, Somerset Local Authorities and the Department of Health and Social Care, it is hoped the new Local Testing Station located in Fore Street will help address the spread of the virus in the area with the aim of bringing it under control.

The Testing Station opened on Wednesday, January 20 and will be open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

The site will have ten testing bays including two with disabled access and for use by families.

Trudi Grant, Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health said: “The new Local Testing Centre in Chard is another welcome addition to the facilities in Somerset to help us bring the virus under control.

“Testing plays a key role in helping reduce the spread of this highly infectious disease. Please only get a test if you have symptoms. If we know who is infected, we can isolate them accordingly and notify anyone that they may have been in close contact with.”

Testing at the Chard site is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Anyone who is tested should continue to self-isolate while awaiting the test results.

Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.  People will need to bring a valid ID, the booking confirmation email and a face covering.

Testing sites are now available at Taunton Racecourse, Bridgwater Town Hall, Cheddar, Street, Frome Cricket Club, Yeovil, Yeovilton, and over the border in Weston-super-Mare, Trowbridge, Warminster, Paulton, Tiverton, Barnstaple, Dorchester, Bridport, Exeter and Bristol. When you book your test you will be shown the nearest available sites to your location at the time of booking.

If you, or anyone you know needs help, a single phone number is available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support from their councils.

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm, offering a range of support – from help accessing food or medicines, to emotional and financial support, and employment, skills and business advice.