St Helens Borough residents can now collect at-home Covid-19 testing kits

A home testing kit for Coronavirus (COVID-19) pictured at an address in London. Home testing kits are available in the UK to those with symptoms. The results are emailed and texted within 3 days. Photo credit should read: Katie Collins/EMPICS

Today, the Community Collect Service is being rolled out to all residents in St Helens Borough who can now collect at-home Covid-19 testing kits from select sites in the area – subject to availability.

People can now either collect at-home test kits from key locations or attend a symptom-free testing site for a supervised Covid-19 test. Both symptom-free (rapid lateral flow) tests are for people without coronavirus symptoms and is part of a local drive to encourage residents to take part in twice-weekly testing to help stop coronavirus spreading in the community.

This Easter services have reduced opening hours, the following sites will be open for symptom-free testing or to collect at home testing kits from 10-3pm this weekend (excluding Easter Sunday when all sites will be closed).

St Marys Indoor Market, St Helens Town Centre
Chester Lane Community Centre, Sutton Manor
Grange Valley Youth Centre, Haydock

Each household can regularly collect up to two boxes of seven tests from local collection points to support twice-weekly testing. There is no need to make an appointment to collect a test kit – the sites are operating on a walk-in basis. Do not visit a collection site outside of the hours stated above, as they could be used to test people with coronavirus symptoms outside of these times. You must be aged over 18 years to collect a test kit.

Secondary schools and colleges will continue to provide students with twice-weekly at-home tests until further notice.

Sue Forster, Director of Public Health for St Helens Borough Council, said: “As many of us will have plans to meet with friends and family outside this Easter weekend, it is more important than ever to get tested and remember Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air to keep our loved ones safe.

“Twice-weekly community testing is key to us stopping the spread of the virus as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased. So, it’s brilliant that all St Helens Borough residents can now easily pick up at-home testing kits, or can attend one of our symptom-free testing sites for a supervised test.

“The Community Collect Service will help to identify people who do not have symptoms but are unknowingly carrying Covid-19. The test is quick to take and provides rapid results in just 30 minutes. This means that when a negative result is received, you can go about your day, and not have to isolate while waiting for your results.

“Please remember, the roadmap out of lockdown will only happen if we continue to follow the rules in place. The success of the vaccine and infection rates will be closely monitored before we move into the next step, so the dates listed are simply the earliest the next step could happen.”

Residents who have coronavirus symptoms or anyone who has been advised to self-isolate should not attend the collection points. Instead, they should book a test online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119, and self-isolate until they receive their test result.

For more information about testing locally, visit: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/

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