COVENTRY University has handed control of its Covid-19 testing centre to the city council to enable mass testing for the community over Christmas.
Thr centre was set up to test students with no symptoms before they travelled home for the Christmas break, with the aim of reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
More than 3,000 tests were booked, with trained staff and students helping ensure tests were carried out properly and safely.
The testing centre, taken over by the council yesterday (Wednesday), is based in Coventry University’s Priory Sports Hall.
In University Square, opposite Coventry Cathedral and in the heart of the city centre, it will be accessible to all.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to take a lateral flow test at the testing centre, which involves a self-taken swab of both the nose and the back of the throat. The results will then be processed by a trained member of staff.
Those being tested should have their results within an hour of their swabs being processed.
The tests are similar to those used in the mass-testing in Liverpool which were attributed with helping bring the R rate down in the city.
Coventry University will retake control of the testing centre in the new year, with plans in place to resume testing of students and staff.
The university said it was delighted to be able to offer the use of the testing facility which would be an invaluable resource for the council in their continuing hard work to keep the people of Coventry safe.
It added it was determined to continue working with our students, staff and the communities it was located in to do everything it could in a united effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Ian Marshall, Coventry University Deputy-Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, said: “Last week, we saw the first vaccinations take place in Coventry and that is great news, but the roll-out will take some time and we still need to do all we can to halt the spread.
“Testing is a key weapon in the battle against coronavirus and this week marks a significant step in our city’s work to return to a more normal way of life.
“It has been made possible by a group of dedicated and selfless volunteers, including council staff, workers from our partners and residents who have stepped forward to help others.”
The council thanked Coventry University for generously allowing it to use their building that was right in the heart of the city centre, so it could reach as many people as possible.
Coventry City Council leader Coun George Duggins said: “Walk-in sessions will be available from 9am until 5pm on weekdays, so those wishing to be tested will not need to book a test.
“The service will be open throughout the Christmas period, with the exception of weekends and bank holidays.”
People arriving for a free test will be asked for a form of ID and a socially distanced queueing system will be in place if and when it is needed.
Anyone with any of the main COVID symptoms should seek a PCR test in the normal way – dial 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.