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Newark residents on why they visited the new mass covid-19 testing centre at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre yesterday




Several Newark residents and a business owner have explained why they visited the mass testing centre that opened its doors yesterday.

The site, at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, aims to catch those who have the virus but are displaying no symptoms.

Around one in three people infected with covid-19 show no symptoms and so could potentially spread the disease without knowing it.

Mass testing centre opens at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, for residents who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Les Jones, of Newark, registering on arrival, helped by Tiyra-Jade Birkin.
Mass testing centre opens at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, for residents who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Les Jones, of Newark, registering on arrival, helped by Tiyra-Jade Birkin.

Les Jones, creative director at Inizio Hair, Newark, said the set up at the centre was good, felt safe and took no time at all.

“I came here just to make sure I’m safe and to see what the facilities are like so I can recommend it to my team and clients," said Les.

“It was really simple, people were welcoming and there’s people here to guide you.

“The most important thing right now is to reduce the virus rate and this facility helps us to do that. It’s so important we reduce this virus mainly to save lives but also to get the high street back open and to get us living a normal life again.

“We can all play our part to get the virus down and I encourage any businesses in the area to get their employees to take part in the testing here.”

Resident Martin White, of Newark, said: “I work in a warehouse and I mix with people every day and, with this virus, you don’t know who has it and who doesn’t.

"By going to a facility like this they can identify who has it and make sure people are isolating if they have to.

"Having this facility means we can get to a bit of normality quicker and people should think about taking it if they work in a big team.”

Catherine Morton, a Newark resident, went to the testing centre for a different reason.

“I’ve come along as I’m a carer for my mum and even though she’s had the vaccine, I felt it was still important to get a test to keep her safe," said Catherine.

“It is a little strange but it’s not too uncomfortable, it takes no time at all and it’s straight forward to see if you’re safe.”

Meet and greet volunteer at the site Frasier Young said: “I’m here to support people when they come to the facility and to check a few questions before they come into the site.

“One of my friends recommended the roles and it’s been really rewarding to support people and do my bit in reducing the virus.

Mass testing centre opens at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre for residents who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Fraser Young meeting and greeting visitors as they arrive at the testing centre and helping with registration.
Mass testing centre opens at Newark Sports and Fitness Centre for residents who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Fraser Young meeting and greeting visitors as they arrive at the testing centre and helping with registration.

“The site here is amazing, lots of people who have been tested have commented on how quick and easy the process is.”

The site, which has been set up in just seven days, gives anyone the opportunity to get tested.

The test takes only a few seconds and within 40 minutes the result is delivered directly to a smartphone, if you have one.

It is particularly aimed to help working aged-residents who have to travel to an essential place of work.

No appointments are necessary at the testing site. When you arrive you will be asked to register.

Anyone who has to leave home to work is encouraged to get a test regularly. The recommendation is to get tested twice a week.

For anyone showing symptoms, then the advice remains unchanged ­— self-isolate, ring 119 and book a test at a walk through test centre such as the one at Castle House in Newark.

The district council will be offering local businesses and employers support materials to encourage their workers to come down and play their part by getting a test.

It is open Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturdays, 8.30am to 1.30pm, to anyone who has no symptoms of covid-19 and who hasn’t had a positive test in the last 90 days.

Under-16s can be tested but must be accompanied by an adult.

More information is available at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/coronavirus/

The Newark site has opened along with one at the Lammas Leisure Centre, Sutton-in-Ashfield, taking the total number of asymptomatic testing sites in Nottinghamshire to seven.



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