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WATCH: Behind the scenes at rapid Covid testing site in Dukinfield

With two quick Covid testing sites now open in Tameside, we paid a visit to one of them at Dukinfield Town Hall to see what it's like and Tameside Reporter editor Nigel Skinner went through the process himself. 

The military is helping to deliver 'rapid lateral flow tests' to key workers across the borough.

The tests give results in half an hour and are to protect the workers by breaking asymptomatic transmission of the disease.

Until now, testing has been for people with symptoms, but this will be extended to frontline workers including health and social care staff, taxi drivers, other transport workers, those working in manufacturing and retail, police, fire, nurseries and early years staff and carers who are unable to work from home.

Military personnel are working alongside public sector staff to provide testing at Dukinfield Town Hall and Stalybridge Civic Hall. 

We paid a visit to the Dukinfield site to see how it's working and took a guided tour, which was conducted by Lieutenant Josh Hull and Captain Gwilym Coleman. You can watch it at the top of the page. 

The Dukinfield site will be offering tests between 7am to 7pm, and Stalybridge site 9am to 5pm every weekday.  

Eligible key workers can drop in for a test at any time, no appointment is needed – and are being asked to bring along an ID badge or other proof of occupation.

The Public Health team are recommending key workers attend the local testing centres regularly every week. 

Tameside Reporter editor Nigel Skinner went through the quick and easy procedure himself, and thankfully his test came back negative! See the process for yourself in the video below. 

Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Eleanor Wills, responsible for health, said: “Across the country, it is thought that around one in three people who contract Covid-19 show no symptoms. And so the introduction of rapid testing is a crucial part of our ongoing efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus in Tameside.

"The rapid testing of staff who are most likely to be moving around the borough or are less likely to be able to reduce contact with other people as a result of their job role means we can quickly identify and isolate more people with the virus – protecting our residents and workforces and keeping our vital community services operational. ”

Major John Steele, 1st Regiment Royal Military Police, added: “We have pulled together Military personnel from three bases to support the operation here in Tameside. As with the overall response to the pandemic this has very much been a matter of everyone coming together to protect communities. Rapid lateral flow tests are a new kind of technology that can be used in the community and give a quick result, without needing to go to a lab for processing.

"The tests are self-administered and can give a result in half an hour but our staff are on hand at both sites to guide local key workers through the process. It is important to note that regular rapid testing is used only to check for infection for people who have no symptoms and that masks must be worn in the testing centres unless exemptions apply.”

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