Harrogate’s coronavirus testing centre will close at the start of June — as the government prepares to ramp up testing this week.
According to ministers, everyone in England, even those without symptoms, will be able to take a free rapid lateral flow test twice a week from Friday.
Test kits will be available either from various designated sites and pharmacies or through a home ordering service.
If someone returns a positive test, they will then need to take a more accurate PCR test.
Ascent Healthcare on Chain Lane in Knaresborough is the only site currently listed on the NHS England website as a pick-up site for rapid tests in the Harrogate district.
However, Harrogate’s testing site in the car park on Dragon Road, which has the potential to offer the kits and perform PCR tests, will close on June 1.
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The Stray Ferret asked a North Yorkshire coronavirus press briefing today about the closure and plans to find a replacement testing site.
Victoria Turner, public health consultant at North Yorkshire County Council, said:
“We have an agreement to keep the site in its current location until June 1. So we are fine to use it in its current form up until that point.
“I guess with the plethora of lateral flow options coming online, including things like the pharmacies, it is likely there will be a lot of other local options.
“It is still fairly early days with the pharmacies so we are kind of waiting to see what the spread is going to be like and whether we will need to encourage more to come in.
“So I think the lateral flow side will be covered by other routes. We are looking across the board at how PCR testing will work from June but there will be other options, including the mobile unit.”
Daily coronavirus statistics
The Harrogate district’s seven-day coronavirus rate remained at 11 infections per 100,000 people today.
The district recorded another six cases, after several days averaging two cases a day.
Harrogate District Hospital, which has six covid patients, has not reported any new coronavirus deaths today.
The last recorded death at the hospital was on March 29.