Asymptomatic Covid testing in Burnley and Pendle to end for now

Asymptomatic Covid testing in Burnley and Pendle will come to an end with the closure of the walk-in test centres in the two districts this weekend, it has been confirmed.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 8:35 am
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 8:36 am

Residents in the boroughs have previously been encouraged to get tested even if they do not have symptoms. The advice was part of an attempt to tackle spikes in coronavirus in the neighbouring areas.

However, it emerged earlier this week that Lancashire was having to shut down its community testing facilities at short notice from this weekend, because the government said it would no longer be possible for the county to order the particular type of kits on which the facilities relied. They will be replaced by facilities where both an appointment and symptoms are required in order to attend.

Lancashire’s director of public health said he regretted that the capacity for asymptomatic testing was not currently available – and that he would be continuing to press for it to be reintroduced.

“The way the [national] system is operating, it looks like people won’t be able to book a test if they’re not symptomatic – so the message is that it’s not going to be available in Lancashire for now, at least until we have had some clarity nationally,” Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi explained.

“The virus and the epidemiology hasn’t changed much – so asymptomatic cases are always there.

“There is still some asymptomatic testing, for instance in care homes – but we do need more.”

Research just published by University College London shows that, between April and June, only 14 percent of people who tested positive for coronavirus as part of the Office for National Statistics’ Covid survey, had any of the main symptoms of the disease on the day of their test. Just 23 percent were experiencing any symptoms at all.

The walk-in community testing centres opposite Burnley bus station and at Sacred Heart Church Hall in Colne will both cease to operate from this Sunday (11th October).

A new semi-permanent testing facilities has been set up in Pendle at the

introduced in every district of the county council area in the coming weeks – and have so far been established in Preston (UCLan’s Vernon car park, Berkeley Street, Preston), Leyland (Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland) and Pendle

Appointments are required to attend the new centres and can be booked via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.