County “Covid-19” test site launched

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Plans are underway to create a “mass” coronavirus test site in Kent, it emerged.

A large center is slated to be built in an undisclosed location in the county after a proposal has been discussed between the public health bosses of the Kent County Council and the consulting firm Deloitte.

A Covid-19 test station in the parking lot of William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. Photo: Barry Goodwin
A Covid-19 test station in the parking lot of William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. Photo: Barry Goodwin

Talks took place before an 80-minute virtual meeting with the Kent County Council cabinet on Monday.

Several councilors and senior officers discussed County Hall’s response to the global pandemic.

KCC Director of Public Health Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We are starting to talk about expanding the test to all key workers and all symptomatic family members through the establishment of a site mass test.

“It won’t be far from being settled in Kent.

“We are in the very early stages of planning, so I cannot give you more information on this at this time. “

Over 2,300 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kent
Over 2,300 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kent

Last week, NHS employees from Medway and Swale began swab testing at the county’s first driving test center at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Other test sites have opened in major Kent hospitals, including Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Darent Valley in Dartford, William Harvey in Ashford and QEQM in Margate.

However, KCC’s main opposition leader, Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem), has criticized the lack of “universal” testing facilities in place in Kent.

He said: “One of the main problems in solving the way to remove the lock is to put in place more universal testing facilities. “

Speaking after Monday’s meeting, he added, “Telling us that we have a few NHS test facilities in Kent is not enough. “

Driving test center for Covid-19 has been installed at Medway Maritime Hospital where NHS staff can be tested for coronavirus
Driving test center for Covid-19 has been set up at Medway Maritime Hospital where NHS staff can be tested for coronavirus

More than 2,300 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the county, which is among the most affected by local health authorities in England.

According to data released by Public Health England over the weekend, other local health authorities that deal with lower numbers of cases include Surrey, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Hampshire.

Despite this, the KCC director of public health said he was “reassured” about the situation in Covid-19 county.

Scott-Clark said, “What we don’t see is an exponential increase in numbers and that gives hope, given that in a classic epidemic curve, rates would increase exponentially.

“We see an average of 100 new cases a day, which by all accounts is manageable by the NHS and our system. “

KCC main opposition leader Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem)
KCC main opposition leader Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem)

He added that the number of coronavirus cases in Kent was “about half” of London’s total, while stressing that tests would be “stepped up” throughout the county, especially for NHS staff in the east. from Kent.

The KCC cabinet was later informed of other lingering concerns, including the epidemics of Covid-19 in nursing homes, prisons and hospices.

About 67 cases of coronavirus have been reported from these three institutions across the county.

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) continue to be a concern for county council chiefs, particularly due to the high demand.

KCC chief Cllr Roger Gough (Con) said, “The staff have done remarkable things to ensure that PPE orders are delivered and to respond to the very, very severe pressures that have been placed on the care sector and elsewhere. “

NHS workers were tested in the Kent and Canterbury hospital parking lot. Image: Barry Goodwin
NHS workers were tested in the Kent and Canterbury parking lot. Photo: Barry Goodwin

His comments come three weeks after KCC agreed to spend around £ 2 million on “bulk” emergency supplies, including hand sanitizers, aprons, masks, gloves and goggles. , from its initial grant of £ 39 million from the Covid-19 government.

For the latest news and advice on coronaviruses, click here

Read more: All of Kent’s latest news


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