By Charlotte Green
NEW coronavirus testing centres have opened in Oldham after a spike of infections in the borough led to stricter restrictions on socialising being brought back.
One facility has been built over the weekend and launched on Monday, August 3 at the car park of Oasis Academy on Hollins Road offering ‘walk-through testing’ so residents don’t need to be in a vehicle to access the site.
And this week, a military testing unit is in residence in Shaw from Tuesday to Thursday at the Marketplace/Westway car park.
Councillor Zahid Chauhan, cabinet member for health and social care said: “This site is accessible to many Hollinwood and Limeside residents and is open to people who are concerned about their health because of coronavirus.
“If you, your family members or anyone you know is experiencing coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of smell, they can go to the national website to book a slot as soon as possible to get confirmation.
“If positive, you will be provided with the appropriate advice to limit its spread, particularly among your family members.”
It comes after chiefs announced last Tuesday that some lockdown restrictions were being reintroduced after 119 new cases were recorded in the week to July 25.
The surge in cases is mostly being seen in central and western districts, but new cases are being recorded all across the borough – with an increasing number of cases in the younger population, particularly among 20 to 40-year-olds.
To avoid a Leicester-style local lockdown leaders are asking vulnerable people to continue shielding, and care homes will not be allowing visitors.
Residents are being told they cannot have social visitors to their home and must keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside.
These measures will be in place until August 11 when they will be reviewed and – based on the infection rate – either strengthened or relaxed.
One of the new measures being brought in to help stem the tide of infections is door-to-door testing in certain areas that have already seen an uplift in cases.
However for all residents of the borough there is already a full testing centre in Oldham town centre at the Southgate Street car park, behind Oldham Library.
Bosses say there is ‘good availability’ at this site, and home testing kits are also available for residents.