Bridgewater Town Council has announced that a new coronavirus testing centre will be opened in Bridgewater. The testing centre will be in the council’s town hall building in the town centre.
The testing centre will be set up in collaboration with the Somerset County Council and Public Health England. PHE has committed to send medical professionals to the centre for testing and tracing exercise.
Bridgewater council noted that arrangements had been made to ensure people willing to take the tests do not have to walk for long distances. Therefore, streetcar parking will be free so that people can park near the town hall for convenience. The council has also said that this will ensure that people with the symptoms don’t walk from the car parks in town to get their tests.
The council clerk, David Mears, announced that negotiations with the relevant stakeholders are currently ongoing. He added that the testing centre will be operational in a few days, and it will remain open for about six months.
According to Mr. Mears, there are regional, mobile, and local testing centres across the country. All the testing centres are managed and monitored by NHS and PHE officials to ensure smooth operations.
Mr. Mears noted that the new centre in Bridgewater is categorized under the local testing centres group. Therefore, it will focus on serving the local people and visitors within the town.
The council leader, Cllr Brian Smedley, thanked the council clerk for his effort in organizing the opening of the testing centre. He welcomed the move and termed it as a crucial step towards defeating the pandemic.
Cllr Smedley noted that the council will not get any revenue from the exercise, but he felt it is necessary because the health of the residents is their priority.
The council will pay for all the expenses from the funds granted by the government. Additionally, the government will provide the needed testing kits and reagents.
The date for the launch of the test centre has not yet been set.