A new coronavirus testing centre is needed for Lichfield and Burntwood, the area’s MP has said.
Michael Fabricant said he had been reassured by Staffordshire County Council that a suitable location was being sourced.
It comes as the area prepares to move into Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions following a spike in cases across the county.
The Conservative MP said:
“The nearest site to Lichfield is currently in Tamworth, but with Staffordshire shortly to be raised to Tier 2 COVID-19 infection status, it is vital that we have a more local testing centre.
“Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire’s director of health and care, tells me that they will look for a suitable site in Lichfield though they haven’t found one yet.
“When one is opened, it will be a walk-in facility operating 8am to 8pm daily.”Michael Fabricant MP
“The public are losing trust in the Test and Trace programme”
Mr Fabricant added that it was important people used testing centres after “disturbing” reports of low take-up.
John Henderson, chief executive of Staffordshire County Council, said:
“We’re seeing an interesting, but concerning, trend in terms of uptake on testing.
“It appears that the public are losing trust in the national Test and Trace programme, which manifests itself in low levels of participation – figures of as low as 35% at individual testing stations were quoted in this morning’s West Midlands Covid briefing.
“Where we have put focussed efforts into communities around testing and compliance with countermeasures, such as we have seen in Burton, we are rewarded with levels of around 75%, and reduced infection levels.
“This process is very labour-intensive and we would be unable to replicate it in its current form across the county – the task in the weeks and months ahead is to achieve the ‘good enough’ solution that might involve the voluntary sector and community groups.”John Henderson, Staffordshire County Council
Mr Fabricant added:
“As Staffordshire enters Tier 2, it is absolutely vital that we make good use of the test facilities that are available.
“Funding is provided by the Government for those who will be financially hit, if they have to isolate.
“Unless we use these facilities, it will be difficult for districts within the county to control the virus and drop back to Tier 1.
“So I urge everyone to use them if they start to experience COVID-19 symptoms including a new cough, high temperature, or lack of taste or smell.
“If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it.”Michael Fabricant MP