Increased testing capacity in Southend coming in 2021

January 5, 2021

More Coronavirus testing centres are being rolled out across the Borough in January, with a new pop-up site and four new lateral flow device (LFD) testing centres set to be introduced for people without symptoms in the coming weeks.

Following on from the success of the pop-up site in Leigh-on-Sea, a pop-up testing site will be at Shoebury Youth Centre from Wednesday 6 January until Sunday 10 January from 10am to 5pm.

There will be a limited amount of self-testing PCR kits available at this site for residents to collect and do in the comfort of their own home, before returning the test back to the site as soon as possible (and within 48 hours maximum), for it to be couriered straight to the lab.

If all tests available are collected by residents before Sunday, the site will remain open for people to drop them back off. After Sunday, residents will need to send them back via a priority postbox. Face masks must be worn when collecting or dropping off tests.

An LFD testing site, which gives results within one hour of submitting the completed test, has also opened at University Square building.

Testing here is available for those who have come into contact with a confirmed positive case and those who have been encouraged to get tested as part of community testing, such as school-age children and their families.

New LFD testing sites – for people without symptoms

In addition to this, the council is working with the DHSC to set up four new Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing sites for people without symptoms. LFD tests give results within one hour. The four sites will be located in different areas across the Borough; central Southend, east central Southend, Leigh-on-Sea in the west and Shoeburyness in the east. Each site will look to accommodate 500 LFD tests each day.

The first site opened in central Southend, at University Square yesterday (Monday 4 January) and is open from 7am to 3pm, seven days a week. You will need to book an appointment. Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks regarding the additional three sites once plans have been confirmed with the DHSC.

Local PCR testing sites

Following further work with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the council is also overseeing a transition in January that will see three local testing sites created, which have greater capacity than mobile testing units.

Currently, the Borough has two mobile testing units - London Southend Airport and Hamlet Court Road - and one local testing site at Short Street.

Check our website for further details of current sites and opening times. Further updates and announcements will be made as plans and locations are confirmed and the website will be regularly updated.

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “Increasing our testing capacity will play a vital role as we continue to take measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Our hospitals and health services, both locally and regionally, are becoming overwhelmed with COVID patients, and we must all do our bit to protect these essential services, as well as our friends, families and communities.

“This next phase of testing, the LFD sites, enable people to get results within one hour, which are extremely useful for people who are not showing any symptoms. People who do not feel unwell and are asymptomatic, can unwillingly spread the virus to others, so this rapid testing will help identify those people and help reduce the spread of the virus.

“I would ask residents to get tested through the variety of options we now have available through the drop-in site, LFD sites coming on stream or the local testing sites. Full details are available on our website, which is being updated regularly.

“Following the major incident declared by the Essex Resilience Forum last week and the national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister, we must all stay at home, do not mix indoors with people outside your household or support bubble, and remember hands, face, space.”


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