Today sees the opening of a new drive-through testing unit for key workers in west Wales on the showground site in Carmarthen.
The unit is supporting testing facilities already providing tests for NHS staff and key workers such as those from police, fire and ambulance services, care homes and other critical local authority staff.
Other testing facilities are available across the west Wales area in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest and Llanelli, and consideration is also being taken as to how testing capacity may further be strengthened in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
This latest testing unit has been delivered following a partnership between the UK Government and Deloitte to deliver the UK-wide coronavirus testing of key workers. Key partners on the west Wales facility also include the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Carmarthenshire Council and other partners on the Local Resilience Forum.
Executive Director of Therapies and Health Science for Hywel Dda University Health Board Alison Shakeshaft said: “We are grateful for the partnership working between the government and agencies in our area to establish this testing centre which supports testing capacity across our large area. We serve a rural community and are doing everything we can to make testing as accessible as possible. We will continue to work with other health boards in regards to mutual aid and supporting people who live or work across our boundaries.”
Peter Roderick Assistant Chief Constable for Dyfed Powys Police said on behalf of the Local Resilience Forum: “We are pleased to support expansion of testing for our key workers in this area, which is a critical part of our response to this pandemic. We thank our key workers and also our communities for their continued co-operation and assistance.”
The facility, in addition to other testing units and alternatives being explored by the Welsh Government, could potentially support future expansion of community testing.
Symptomatic key workers or key workers with a symptomatic household member can request a test through the Hywel Dda University Health Board. Details on how to request a test can be obtained from the key worker’s employing organisation. If a test is appropriate an appointment slot will be provided at the most convenient testing facility.
People are asked not to attend any testing facilities without prior arrangement with the health board, as this could adversely affect their ability to provide tests to those who need them and tests will not be performed without a prior appointment.
Testing units do not pose a risk to the public as stringent infection prevention measures are in place to protect people, staff and the wider community.