Residents in the Ribble Valley can take free coronavirus tests at three centres
Ribble Valley residents, visitors and workers can now take a free rapid coronavirus (Covid-19) test twice a week.
Alongside the vaccine roll-out, regular testing is at the heart of plans to suppress the spread of coronavirus variants.
Everyone in the Ribble Valley can now access free, regular, rapid coronavirus tests from the new lateral flow testing centre in Clitheroe and pop-up centres in Whalley and Longridge.
Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk, or who need to leave home for work, including NHS workers, care home staff, teachers and schoolchildren. Now rapid testing is being offered to everyone and people are encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks.
One in three people with Covid-19 do not have any symptoms and may be spreading the virus without knowing it. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning those who test positive can isolate immediately.
And since rapid testing was introduced over 120,000 positive cases that would not otherwise have been found have been identified across the UK.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader, Stephen Atkinson, said: “As we continue to make good progress on the vaccine programme and with the roadmap to easing restrictions under way, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.
“Around one in three people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms and as we return to the new normal regular rapid testing is going to be fundamental in helping us quickly spot positive cases and stop outbreaks.
“Reclaiming our lost freedoms and getting back to normal hinges on us all getting tested regularly.”
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, Matt Riding, added: “Lateral flow testing is a simple way to keep yourself, friends, family, colleagues and customers safe.
“Taking a test is quick, easy and free – the tests are painless and you get the result within half an hour.
“They are another tool to help us maintain lower infection rates and I encourage everyone to take up the offer of these free rapid tests.”
The lateral flow testing centre in Clitheroe is based at the Council Offices car park in Church Walk. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.
Pop-up centres operate at Longridge Civic Hall on Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 6pm and Whalley Village Hall on Tuesdays from 9am to 4pm.
As well as getting tested onsite, you can also collect up to two boxes containing seven testing kits each for use in the home or workplace.
● Don’t forget the Ribble Valley Community Hub is still available if you need help, businesses advice and the latest pandemic information. The hub is on hand Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 01200 414597, to help households facing difficulties, worries or loneliness.