Over the past few months, Public Health Dorset and BCP Council have worked hard to set up community testing across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Free twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) testing is available to BCP Council area residents over the age of 16 who show no symptoms of COVID-19. Children aged 12-15 can access assisted testing if supervised by a parent or guardian.
LFD testing was first introduced for local authority staff and those in the community who couldn’t work from home. The government announced free asymptomatic testing was available to everyone from 9 April so Dorset’s LFD test sites are now open access.
In Dorset LFD tests are available in a variety of ways:
- assisted on-site tests at one of Dorset’s community testing sites (booking is available but not essential)
- home test collection from Dorset’s participating community testing sites
- home test collection from local participating pharmacies
- free home delivery service via the government website portal or phone 119.
The introduction of home testing and greater accessibility to testing has resulted in fewer people testing on-site.
We have therefore made some changes to the provision in Poole and Bournemouth.
From 1 June the Poole Stadium test site will be closed. LFD testing will still be available in Poole at the nearby Civic Centre test site. There are also a number of pharmacies in the Poole area providing free home testing kits.
Community testing sites at Poole Civic Centre and Kinson Community Centre will not open on Sundays after 30 May.
Cllr Nicola Greene, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Covid Resilience, Schools and Skills said: “It’s really important that even though you may have been vaccinated you continue to carry out regular LFD testing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Asymptomatic testing detects COVID-19 cases early and breaks the chain of transmission.
“We will continue to look at the use of our community test sites to keep testing provision where it is needed.”
Please visit here to find out more information about asymptomatic testing.
It is really important that if anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19: a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a change or loss of sense of taste or smell, that they and their household self-isolate immediately, and they book a PCR test on the national portal here or call 119. Everyone must self-isolate until a test result is received.