Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Knowsley’s SMART COVID-19 testing crucial for those unable to stay at home
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Knowsley’s SMART COVID-19 testing crucial for those unable to stay at home

by Guy Murphy

Despite the UK being under national lockdown restrictions, there are still a considerable number of people in Knowsley who have to leave the house to attend work. These individuals are at more risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 and often are those responsible for delivering essential local services and support.

To support these individuals, and to ensure local services can be maintained as safely as possible throughout lockdown, Knowsley Council is reminding everyone of the importance of SMART testing for anyone unable to stay at home.

At the same time, the Council is advising other residents that the best way to stay safe is to stay at home as much as possible.

Cllr Donnelly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care commented:

“We all know how important regular SMART testing is and in lockdown we have to make sure that the people still having to go out to work, can access the regular testing they need. It is important for their own peace of mind but also for the safety and wellbeing of others they are coming into contact with.

Although we know that many frontline workers, especially those working in health or social care, are tested within the workplace, for other people this is not the case. Nursery assistants, shop workers, delivery drivers and postmen and women are just a few examples. They are delivering absolutely essential services for us all at this time, so it seems only right we support them as much as we can to stay safe and well.

We know that many residents can work from home and with schools closed to the majority of pupils, large parts of our community do not need SMART testing during lockdown. Therefore by advising residents to stay at home as much as possible we want to free up additional capacity in our testing centres to ensure regular tests are available for the people who are unable to stay at home due to work commitments.”

Key workers and those unable to work from home are urged to access the testing facilities at least twice per week. SMART testing usually provides a result within an hour and will help identify cases where people are not experiencing symptoms and could be unknowingly spreading the virus.

Cllr Donnelly added:

“Whilst our sites are still accessible to the local community we are advising residents who can stay at home, to do just that.

This will help us to manage the demand at our centres and ensure we can keep people safe and socially distanced within the centres themselves. Undoubtedly the safest thing residents can do at this time is to stay at home if they can. And if they can’t do that then please come and get a test.”

Since Knowsley opened its SMART testing facilities in early December more than 41,000 tests have been carried out and community participation in testing has been good.

There are five test centres across Knowsley. The three main sites are open 7 days a week and the other two pop sites are open on specific days of the week.

Main sites

These sites are open to the public from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Volair Huyton – Longview Drive, Huyton, Liverpool L36 6EG

Volair Halewood – Baileys Lane, Liverpool L26 0TY

Volair Kirkby – Cherryfield Drive, Kirkby, Liverpool L32 8SA

Pop up sites

Pop up sites are only open on specific days of the week.

Prescot One Stop Shop – Prescot Shopping Centre, Prescot, L34 5GA

Open Wednesday to Friday from 9am until 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm

Knowsley Village Hall – School Lane, Prescot L34 9EN

Open Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm

Testing for people with symptoms

The main COVID-19 symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

If you or anyone in your household starts to experience symptoms it is important that you isolate and book a test.

You can book a test online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.