THE new drive-through testing centre has tested its first key workers at Pirelli Stadium, as it begins to play a key role in the fight against Coronavirus.
The centre opened at lunchtime yesterday and is now swab testing key workers who have displayed COVID-19 symptoms or who live in a household where someone has symptoms.
Dr Richard Harling, who is chairing the Strategic Coordinating Group which is leading the multiagency response across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, said: “This centre and another at Stoke City FC will play a really important role in getting workers who have been self-isolating back to the frontline, treating patients, caring for the vulnerable or keeping our communities safe.
“I would like to stress that only those with an appointment should attend. The organisations that they work for will let them know how this process works and they will be triaged by telephone to assess whether they are suitable for swab testing.
“The centres are not able to test anyone who does not have an appointment. We would also advise that members of the public should stay off the sites for their own safety.”
Key workers who could be tested include NHS staff, care workers, frontline local authority workers, fire and police officers and staff and some working in educational settings.
Nigel Williams, CCG Clinical Quality Improvement Manager, was involved in setting up the centre in record time. He said: “I cannot speak highly enough of the support shown to us by Burton Albion.
“This also extends to our staff, partners including police, fire and the armed forces, community volunteers and a number of suppliers for whom nothing was too much trouble.”
Chairman, Ben Robinson MBE DL, said: “While we’re not able to use the stadium to host football matches, we’re delighted to be able to use our facilities and some of our stewarding and security expertise, to help in the fight against the pandemic.
“During this time, we’d also like to respectfully ask that local residents don’t the use the footprint of Pirelli Stadium as a cut-through or for dog walking.”
Burton Albion is hosting and supporting the project but is unable to advise or comment on the testing procedures.
The testing site will remain in situ for as long as it is required.
Dr Harling said: “Please follow official NHS advice on Coronavirus/COVID-19 and don’t take advice from social media.”