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COVID local testing site opens at The Anvil

A walk-through, appointment-only COVID local testing site has been announced as opening today at The Anvil in Basingstoke by Hampshire County Council.

This is not a drop-in service and appointments have to be booked online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

It is one of five new local testing sites being established in Hampshire to improve testing capacity, control the virus and support the health of residents.

Hampshire County Council, working closely with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum partners, is responsible for arranging the testing locations in the area. The provision and availability of testing is led by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Those booking a test, will be offered the next available appointment, so it may not necessarily be at the location nearest to where they live. But the borough council was keen to have walk-through testing facilities that were more accessible to residents.

Owing to COVID-19 restrictions on performances, The Anvil is closed until further notice and all performances until the end of December have been rescheduled or cancelled. The Anvil is in an easily accessible town centre location by walking and cycling. It offers a large space where high numbers of tests could be carried out. Layouts have been carefully designed to ensure people can move around them safely and prevent spread of the virus, social distancing will be maintained throughout the testing process and people attending the sites are asked to wear a face covering.

Borough officers have worked with those operating the centre on additional measures so that people attending with symptoms are not putting those in the town centre at any additional risk. Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, including adhering to social distancing, not travelling in a taxi or on public transport, wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre) and washing their hands thoroughly before leaving for their appointment. The approach has been agreed with expert clinical oversight.

Additional hand sanitising stations will be provided. If people do come to the centre by car will be directed to park close to The Anvil and access it via clearly marked routes. The lifts and stair wells leading to The Anvil will be cleaned every 30 minutes by dedicated staff from the testing centre.