Extra Coronavirus testing processing arrives in Oldham

Date published: 26 February 2021

Oldham's ability to get its Coronavirus testing results back more quickly has been improved after it was chosen to take part in a national pilot.

Coronavirus testing is a critical step in the fight against COVID-19.

To support this goal, a pilot is currently underway using innovative mobile laboratories at five locations across the UK.

The third one was introduced at the Rock Street car park in Oldham yesterday (Thursday).

At these pilot sites, mobile laboratories (titled Micro Processing Units), are set up offering an additional response to the geographical spread of the virus through provision of extra laboratory processing capability to reduce testing turnaround times for tests taken by people with symptoms of coronavirus.

Up to 2,000 tests a day can be processed using the latest technology and this will allow Oldham, Greater Manchester and the North West to process tests more quickly.

The site is not open to the public as it doesn’t do the actual tests - for details of these in Oldham just click here

Katrina Stephens, Oldham’s Director of Public Health, said: "This is great news for Oldham, along with Greater Manchester, as having this testing site locally means we can get coronavirus tests there more quickly and results back quicker.

“This innovative process uses extremely reliable technology to bring testing with quick turnaround times directly to residents.

“Having COVID-19 testing results available more quickly, vastly improves our ability to respond to potential outbreaks promptly and effectively.”

Alongside Oldham, the micro processing units has been deployed in mobile mode in four other locations in the UK - Aberdeen, Telford, Brent and Newbury.

The pilot will continue for at least a month followed by an evaluation of the effectiveness of units.

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