All Covid rapid testing centres in Suffolk are shutting down

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft

All of the Covid-19 rapid testing centres in Suffolk are closing down at the end of this month - Credit: Suffolk Resilience Forum

Suffolk's coronavirus rapid testing centres are shutting down as people prefer home testing and the need for centres is tailing off.

More than 700,000 home testing kits have been handed out in the county, whereas the 28 community sites set up across Suffolk completed 90,000 tests since January — with 155 positive cases identified.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said: “The centres played a valuable role in the outstanding testing capacity we have delivered since January – it was an ambitious roll-out and we achieved this with efficiency and effectiveness.

Stuart Keeble is director of Suffolk Public Health

Stuart Keeble is director of Suffolk Public Health - Credit: Suffolk County Council

“We recognised that testing would evolve from static centres to people testing at home and in the workplace.

“The centres enabled people who were not able to work from home during lockdown to test regularly and identify if they had Covid-19, even if they were not showing symptoms.

“We know from feedback from users of the centres that they prefer home testing, so the need for fixed-site testing centres is no longer there now.

"The most important thing is that people continue to test regularly.”

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In March, when community testing was at its highest, more than 10,000 tests were carried out a week.

As home testing became more readily available and gathered pace, 14 smaller sites were closed later that month and combined usage of the remainder fell to around 1,900 tests a week.

A total of 14 centres now remain —  Felixstowe Leisure Centre in Undercliff Road West will be the first to shut down on Friday, while all others close on May 28.

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