Original article from Kent Live
Two symptom-free coronavirus testing sites across Kent are set to close today (June 25), it has been revealed.
It comes as the local authority announced home testing has been "extremely popular" with residents, which has helped drive down infection rates after the Delta variant of coronavirus was detected.
The council has now urged the public to continue home testing, with kits available at pharmacies and online, in a bid to stop the deadly bug from spreading.
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For people who still want to visit testing sites, the operating hours will be extended at Maidstone and Ashford from Thursday, July 1.
Their hours will be the following:
- Monday – 9am-2pm
- Tuesday – 9am-2pm
- Wednesday – 2pm-7pm
- Thursday – 9am-2pm
- Friday – 9am – 7pm
- Saturday – 9am – 2pm
- Sunday – 9am – 7pm
Kent’s interim director of Public Health, Allison Duggal, stressed it is crucial everyone keeps testing themselves as people continue to socialise more.
She explained: "As we start to get out and socialise more, it is so important that everyone keeps testing, testing, testing to identify any positive cases and continue to prevent the spread of the virus."
Ms Duggal added the public must remember to register their test online, so the council receives a record of how many people are taking tests.
She also thanked the public for helping to keep infection rates down amid the pandemic and said: "I cannot thank the residents of Kent enough for their part in locating the virus and driving down infection rates through regular testing.
"Home testing, with testing kits available both at pharmacies and online, has been extremely popular. It’s quick and easy to do and so it’s not surprising that many residents of Kent have now made regular home testing part of their weekly routine."
If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss or change in taste or smell – you should not visit a symptom-free testing site and continue to self-isolate.
You can book a test by visiting the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.