The UK Government has today, Tuesday 12 January, opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at Brooms Road Car Park in Dumfries. The centre is easily accessible for people without a car.
The test centre is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history. In Scotland, this comprises 6 drive through sites, 25 walk-through sites, 21 mobile units, plus the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab which is working round the clock to process samples.
In Scotland, the UK Government is providing all COVID testing and test processing outside of the NHS. Around two thirds of all daily tests are provided by the UK Government, in support of Scotland’s health services.
Tests must be booked in advance on the NHS Inform website or by calling 0800 028 2816. People should only book at test if they have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste).
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch. We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.
New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Protect if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:
Walk-through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand our testing network across the UK which now has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day. We will continue to expand capacity to improve test turnaround times and push forward testing innovations to make sure anyone who needs a test can get one.
Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Protect if you are contacted.
Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said:
The UK Government is doing everything it can to support people all parts of the UK through the pandemic.
From giving the Scottish Government an extra £8.6 billion for their covid response, to paying for millions of doses of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines, we are also providing the bulk of testing in Scotland.
Testing remains an important part in how we manage the virus as we await the mass roll out of vaccines. This new walk-through site in the centre of Dumfries will make it easier for people to access a test when they display symptoms, helping to protect themselves, their local community and NHS.
Hope is on the horizon with vaccines and news that the Queen of the South Arena is to be turned into a mass vaccination centre shows that by continuing to pull together as a community we will get through this.
Valerie White, Interim Director of Public Health NHS Dumfries and Galloway said
This walk-through site is a welcome addition to our local testing capacity
Having 7 days a week access in a permanent location in Dumfries this will allow us to make changes to our mobile testing schedule to increase access to testing across our region
Dumfries and Galloway has been badly hit by Coronavirus in recent weeks and I would urge anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, even if these symptoms are mild, to self-isolate with their household and book a test.
Simon Venn, Mitie Chief Government & Strategy Officer, said:
Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK’s strategy to combat coronavirus and we’re proud to support the UK Government with this vital task. A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Dumfries, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.