Walk-in centres are to be opened at a number of venues across the city in the new year, beginning with Coventry Transport Museum, as part of the city’s continued efforts in the battle against COVID-19.
A partnership with CV Life and Culture Coventry will allow new testing centres to be opened more widely in the city.
The move will mainly see sports halls in the leisure facilities used for the testing of people with no symptoms.
Apart from the museum, centres are to be opened at the Alan Higgs Centre, Centre AT7, Moat House Leisure Centre and the Xcel Centre.
The centres will use lateral flow devices to conduct the supervised, self-administered swab tests, with results emailed within an hour.
Some disruption is to be expected at the centres, but activities that do not involve sports hall are expected to continue as normal.
The new centres will replace the current one near Coventry Cathedral, in a building owned by Coventry University, which will no longer be available for use when students return from January 14.
Councillor George Duggins called the expansion of asymptomatic testing “an important part in helping us all live with and manage the spread of the virus.”
Mass community testing is only for people without coronavirus symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should seek a regular PCR test by calling 119 or through the NHS COVID-19 app.
Paul Breed, Chief Executive for CV Life and Culture Coventry, said the charitable trusts were happy to work with the City Council on the expansion.
“CV Life’s venues are based within the communities they serve to promote health and wellbeing, and we are pleased to join forces to enable more community testing to take place”, he said.
Paul said his team will be getting in touch with anyone who uses the centres regularly if their activities are expected to be disrupted by their use for testing.
The community testing centres will be open daily with no appointments needed, and ran by redeployed Coventry City Council staff and local volunteers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement: “We are rolling out community testing more widely at a rapid pace, with 116 areas now planning to take part.
“If you are offered community testing in your local area, I would strongly encourage you to take up this opportunity to get tested and protect your local community.”
UK scientists have indicated that the lateral flow devices do detected cases of the new COVID-19 variant that has recently been identified in the South East.
Though, the Director of Public Health for Coventry suggested that the new strain, though to be more easily transmissible but not have a higher fatality rate, could already be spreading in the city.