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The first coronavirus testing facility in South Gloucestershire opened on Thursday 1 October to provide more capacity for local residents and students at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

The centre will be set up at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay Campus and incorporate a drive-through testing for residents and a walk-through service for students as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing. The unit will be run on behalf of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and will reduce the need for people with symptoms from having to travel further afield to be tested.

The council requested the additional capacity for South Gloucestershire as part of our ongoing work with partners to monitor and stop the spread of Covid-19 in the district.

How the site will work

Testing at the new site will start from Thursday 1 October and will run on a strictly appointment-only basis. Current Government guidance is that only those with symptoms should book a test, which you can do through the NHS portal, or by calling 119. You must not turn up at the site if you have not booked an appointment. Anyone who turns up without an appointment will be turned away.

Anyone who turns up without an appointment will be turned away.

Clear signage has been installed on campus to direct those with appointments where and how to use the service. Drivers arriving for tests will not need to leave their cars for any reason. No one arriving for a test will need to go into university buildings.

Testing units operate six days a week. Availability of appointments for tests depends on the capacity of testing laboratories, which is outside of the council’s control. People booking appointments will be directed to their nearest available testing facility at the time they book on the portal.

Members of the public who have booked a test will be directed to enter the campus via the North Entrance off Filton Road (A4174). Directional signs will be in place from the M32 and Abbeywood roundabouts.

What does a test involve?

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted). Those being tested may experience some mild discomfort but it should not hurt.

Watch this short video explaining the symptoms of Covid-19:

When people should get tested

Government guidance states that only those with symptoms should book a test. People with symptoms of coronavirus who have booked a test appointment must only leave their home to have the test.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste

NHS Test and Trace

Anyone who tests positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.

Everyone with symptoms can book or order a test on the NHS website. Those unable to access the internet can call 119 to book a test. Anyone taking a test at a test site can expect their results the next day.
The NHS Covid-19 app is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community. The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy. Visit the NHS COVID-19 app support website to find out more and download the app.

Stop the spread. Do the right thing.



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