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Preston essential workers encouraged to use the Harris test centre

Posted on - 9th March, 2021 - 12:46pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
The Harris and the Flag Market in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
The Harris and the Flag Market Pic: Tony Worrall

All essential workers in Preston are being encouraged to access free COVID-19 testing in the city centre following an expansion of the scheme.

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The service, operating from the Harris, offers free rapid lateral flow tests to essential workers who cannot work from home and are not being tested in their work place. The self-administered tests are quick to take and usually provide results within an hour.

Read more: Two areas in Penwortham are nearly Covid free as latest weekly figures show drops in most areas of Preston and South Ribble

The list of eligible workers has now been expanded to include all essential workers based in Preston, roles that include:

  • Delivery and taxi drivers
  • Care workers
  • NHS staff
  • Shop workers
  • School staff
  • Community-based workers
Councillor Matthew Brown
Councillor Matthew Brown

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “Regular testing is vital to identify and isolate new cases of COVID-19 to prevent localised outbreaks that may threaten the roadmap out of lockdown.

“Many workers aren’t able to work from home and continue to come into their place of work every day. This free and easy service is available to these workers and I implore everyone to get tested every three to five days so that any new cases can be identified as soon as possible.

“If you do test positive it’s important that you self-isolate for the required period. Support is still available to anybody required to self-isolate. It is vital we all do this so we can continue to drive down infections and return to normal as soon as we can.”

Read more: Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire coronavirus infection rates continue to fall as Prime Minister gives update on schools returning day

Essential workers can visit the Harris, via the Jacson Street entrance, during opening hours for a test. You must bring a valid workplace ID.

Claire McKnight, Store Manager at M&S Fishergate, said: “The opportunity from Preston BID to take part in regular COVID testing provided by the city council has had a huge positive impact on my team in M&S.

“I was apprehensive when we first started talking to the team as I thought they wouldn’t want to take part. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“The feedback I have received from them about how it has given them peace of mind that they are not coming into work and spreading the virus and more importantly not taking it home to those they live with.”

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