Wiganers share their experiences of the drive-through Covid-19 process
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As part of Downing Street’s five-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing, it is testing people who have coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus.
Those currently eligible for testing include NHS and social care workers with symptoms, anyone over 65 with symptoms, anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home - for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers, and anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also pledged that all care home residents and social care staff with Covid-19 symptoms will be tested for the virus as capacity increases.
Residents from across the borough have been applying for the tests in droves. Although some have reported chaotic scenes and disorganisation at testing centres, many said their applications were swiftly processed.
With the exception of NHS workers, who are being testing at Leigh Infirmary’s drive-through centre, most Wiganers have been directed to the nearest testing facility at Haydock Park Racecourse, though some told the Wigan Post they had been sent as far to Ellsemere Port and Manchester Airport for their tests due to closer locations being full.
One resident said: “I booked mine the other day for Haydock, due to being a key worker and had a few symptoms. [It] took about 30 minutes. I got my result this morning, [it was negative].”
Darren Atherton, from Billinge, was tested at Haydock. He said: “Booked and tested the day after, very well organised and quickly undertaken. Awaiting results now,” he said.
Stacey Louise Highton wrote: “I went on gov.uk and booked it myself. The day after I got Haydock Racecourse, it took about 30 minutes.”
To check your eligibility for a Covid-19 test and to apply, visit gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested