More than 400 key workers have now been tested for Covid-19 as part of Fylde Council’s new SMART testing programme.

People that aren’t showing any symptoms of Covid-19 that need to leave home to work as part of an essential service, vital infrastructure or community group can be tested weekly at one of four strategically placed hubs.

Since training for the centres started on Monday 1st February over 400 people have taken part in the programme and will return each week to ensure they aren’t asymptomatically spreading the virus.

This includes supermarket staff, taxi drivers, teachers, nursery nurses, emergency services staff and those from larger employers within the local areas.

Swabbing and processing takes place onsite and the results are available within the hour. Six new jobs have been created with staff being trained by the military to deliver the testing.

Richard Hurt, Health Protection Practitioner at Fylde Borough Council, has led the project to get the four testing centres up and running.

He said: “The reaction to these local SMART testing sites has been fantastic and we have already seen more people than we expected to at this early stage.

“We’ve worked with a number of large employers in the area who have committed to sending staff for weekly testing and it is hugely encouraging to see so many other people taking individual responsibility and coming along to get tested.

“I would urge everyone that is eligible to take part in this testing to do so as it will help drive cases down long term.

“We are hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of getting involved in local testing efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in workplaces and local communities.

“This is just one of the ways Fylde Council is leading the local fight against Covid-19.”

The centres are located across the borough here:

  • Monday – AFC Fylde Education Centre, Mill Farm, Kirkham
  • Wednesday – St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Church Road, Lytham
  • Thursday – St Annes United Reformed Church, St George’s Road, St Annes
  • Friday – Kirkham Community Centre, Mill Street, Kirkham

No appointment is necessary and the test is free of charge. It is recommended that attendees bring their smartphone and do not eat or drink 20 minutes prior to the test. Each of the testing centres is open from 9:30am – 4pm.