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Second Covid-19 test centre opens in Tower Hamlets

A new government run Covid-19 local test centre opened today (Friday 9 October) in Tower Hamlets, helping to increase testing capacity for residents. It is the second test centre to open in the borough.

The local testing centre is located at the Mile End Arts Pavilion.

Testing at the unit will be offered on an appointment only basis.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 which include a high temperature, a new or continuous cough or a loss or change to their normal sense of smell or taste, should book an appointment online nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. 

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “I’m pleased to see another much-needed testing centre opening in our borough. With infections increasing in Tower Hamlets, a trend being seen across London, testing people and identifying cases is vital.

“Despite recent issues with the national testing programme we remain committed to ensuring our residents know when they need a test, and that they can book one as easily as possible. This is why we continue to work with the Department of Health and Social Care to support the development of further sites in Tower Hamlets. We all need to continue to play our part to keep our community safe’’

Tests are available to anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, with capacity reserved for vulnerable groups such as the very elderly and people with disabilities. 

While testing is key, there is an increased risk to Tower Hamlets residents from the rapid rise in cases of Covid-19. This is why last week the mayor advised residents to avoid visiting other households unless absolutely necessary. While this is local advice and not part of national guidelines, it is an additional precaution which people can take to help keep themselves safe.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: “This new local testing site will make it much easier for our residents to access testing close to home and will help keep our community safe.

“With a backdrop of rising cases, testing will help to keep schools and front-line public services open, who rely on effective and easy to access tests.

“I urge all residents to continue to follow public health measures and keep everyone safe.’

It’s vital that all residents remember, you’re safest when you follow hands, face, space:

  • Wash hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, then use hand sanitiser. 
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas, or anywhere it is difficult to socially distance. 
  • Keep a safe distance from other people outside your household (two metres where possible). 
  • Follow the rule of six by not meeting with people from other households socially in groups of more than six, indoors or outdoors, including in private homes. 
  • Try not to make unnecessary visits to other households as our data shows this has resulted in a high number of local cases
  • Book a free test if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home until you get your result.  
  • Stay at home if you test positive for 10 days from when symptoms started. This includes while symptomatic and waiting to arrange a test. 
  • Self-isolate if you’re identified as a close or recent contact of someone who has tested positive through NHS Test and Trace. 

Work continues to identify a further site in the borough where a local testing unit can be set up.  

Further information

The new local testing unit is located at Mile End Arts Pavilion, Clinton Road, London E3 4QY.

The opening hours for the local testing unit in Mile End are:

  • Friday 9 October (pilot day), 2pm - 5pm
  • Saturday 10 October, 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday 11 October onwards, 8am - 8pm 

A mobile testing unit continues to operate in the borough, near Canary Wharf with appointments available by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. 

Posted on Friday 9th October 2020