The opening of a new coronavirus test centre in Craigavon, Co. Armagh, has meant that access to testing can be extended to include essential workers who are self-isolating.
This new test centre increases the number of facilities north of the border to three, joining the SSE Belfast and the City of Derry rugby club.
Health and Social Care N.I. (HSC) have announced that the following workers are now eligible to be tested:
- Any central government department;
- Health and Safety Executive;
- Those necessary to enable the critical national infrastructure to continue to operate (e.g. utility, transport sectors);
- Those necessary to support the health and wellbeing of the community directly (e.g. funeral directors, refuse collectors, staff delivering key medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies, food production, agriculture and food sectors, or supply pinch points).
Dr Bríd Farrell, assistant director of service development at the Public Health Agency (PHA), said: “Testing will be provided to employees of key services with symptoms of COVID-19 and/ or to household members of these individuals with symptoms.”
“Testing of workers who are self-isolating will allow them to discuss the results with their employer with a view to agreeing a return to work date.”
Making an appointment
Employers will be provided with information on how their employees can make an appointment through the PHA’s appointment system and will then assist their employees should they need to make an appointment.
Test results will be returned after 72 hours and the HSC advise that self-isolation measures should be continued until results are issued.
Dr Farrell continued: “All centres are open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, 7-days-a-week. Those attending must arrive by car and follow the instructions they have received.”
“By attending with a prior appointment, this will enable the test centres to run smoothly and efficiently. Anyone who is eligible should speak to their employer about receiving a test.”
“This is another significant step forward to increase access to testing of key workers as part of the UK-wide coronavirus testing programme,” she concluded.