This new type of testing is much speedier than current tests with results delivered within an hour of the test taking place.
The Gills join Medway’s fight against coronavirus
MEMS Priestfield Stadium has become the latest venue in Medway to host a pop-up symptom-free coronavirus testing site, as part of Medway’s fight against COVID-19.
Medway is the first area in the south-east to launch targeted community testing for those without symptoms.
Symptom-free testing helps identify those who unknowingly have the virus and are contagious. More than 100 people without symptoms have already tested positive for coronavirus in Medway, in the first nine days of this new type of testing being launched. Those who test positive are immediately asked to isolate, by the NHS Test and Trace programme, to prevent them from spreading COVID-19 to their loved ones and people they work with.
Medway has four targeted community testing centres set up across Medway for eligible critical workers and residents - in Chattenden, Rainham, Chatham and Rochester. The military has also been assisting Medway Council with outreach testing and taking pop-up sites into secondary schools and retail areas.
The council is continuing to roll-out targeted symptom-free testing to more of Medway’s critical workers and residents, and is directly contacting those who are eligible – either by a letter or leaflet through their letterboxes or a text from ‘NHS noreply’ with details on how to book.
Pop-up site at Gillingham FC this weekend only
The next outreach site has been announced as The Gills’ MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday, 20 December for residents who live within Gillingham postcode ‘ME7 4 and ME7 2’. Eligible residents are being contacted by Medway Council and encouraged to book a symptom-free test at the League One stadium.
Limited slots are available, but eligible residents can opt to attend one of Medway’s four community testing centres instead.
This new type of testing is much speedier than current tests with results delivered within an hour of the test taking place. Members of the public do the quick swab test themselves and receive the results at home.
Play your part – eligible residents urged to book a symptom-free test
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “We are pleased to be working with Gillingham Football Club so closely again and on such an important matter. Thank you to the Chairman Paul Scally and the club for facilitating a pop-up testing centre this weekend to help identify residents without symptoms who unknowingly have the virus.
“The Gills has a number of initiatives to support those within the local community and symptom-free testing is a vital tool to help protect Medway residents. I would urge eligible fans and residents to book a test at The Gills pop-up site this weekend or at one of Medway’s four targeted community testing centres. It’s important we all play our part to protect our loved ones, especially so closely to the festive period.”
Gillingham FC: ‘in the heart of Medway’
Gillingham Football Club Chairman, Paul Scally, said: "The Football Club is committed to doing its part to help contain the virus; we highly regard our position in the heart of Medway and we are delighted to help everyone that resides and works in the area.
“This is a very important initiative ahead of, what will be, a different and challenging Christmas period for many. We are delighted to be able to assist with this project and we will endeavour to do what we can to support those in our community.”
Symptom-free testing rolled out to more critical workers and residents
James Williams, Director of Public Health at Medway Council, said: “We are gradually opening up symptom-free testing to more of Medway’s critical workers and residents, especially following the government’s announcement at the weekend that Medway will be provided with additional testing kits. This is allowing us to build on our outreach testing programme in schools and retail areas and offer tests more widely.
“As we approach Christmas and families plan to come together as part of a Christmas bubble, there’s never been a more important time to check you’re not contagious – even if you have no symptoms, you could spread the deadly virus to your loved ones.
“If you’re eligible, please book a symptom-free test and if you have any of the coronavirus symptoms then please book a symptomatic test through the NHS - call 119 or visit gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.”