Rapid Covid-19 testing launches in Barking and Dagenham

New east London Covid-19 test centre opens in Shadwell. Picture: PA/Wire

Rapid Covid-19 testing has been launched in Barking and Dagenham. - Credit: PA/Wire

Rapid Covid-19 testing has been launched in the borough.

The programme is aimed at helping drive down transmission rates of the virus in Barking and Dagenham.

Figures show there were 901 cases per 100,000 people in the latest week numbers are available, December 11-17. The average in England over the same period was 211.

The aim is also to help protect people most at risk by using the 30-minute turnaround tests, which are supplied by NHS Test and Trace.

Testing was made available for asymptomatic residents - those not experiencing symptoms - from today (Monday, December 21) at Gascoigne Children’s Centre in St Ann’s Road, Barking.

Doors are open from 10am to 7pm every day, although the service will not be available on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

Cllr Maureen Worby

Cllr Maureen Worby warned people to behave sensibly. - Credit: Andreas Grieger

Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, said: “Roughly one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.

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"Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and break chains of transmission. 

“With its targeted approach, community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus in our borough, so I will advise residents to take advantage of this service.

“All efforts to find people without symptoms work hand in hand with the existing free testing service for those with symptoms."

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

For more information on how to get a test visit lbbd.gov.uk/get-a-coronavirus-test

People living in the borough can also book a test at the May and Baker site in Dagenham Road, Dagenham.

It is open on December 21, 22, 24, 29 and January 4 and is open from 9am to 3pm.

To book visit gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or dial 119.

In addition, there are currently two mobile testing units available for residents today (December 21) and Tuesday, December 22.

One is located in Barking town centre and another at Dagenham Rugby Club. Open from 8am to 3pm.

For secondary school pupils who do not have symptoms visit the council website.