READY, WILLING, ABLE: Cleveland Fire Brigade is to host asymptomatic Covid-19 testing centre in Loftus in fight against virus

Cleveland Fire Brigade has put its best foot forward by offering to host an asymptomatic testing site in Loftus to help in the local fightback against Covid-19.

Since 8 February, asymptomatic testing has been available for East Cleveland residents at Loftus Youth Centre to help reduce the spread of the virus by identifying people in the community who are positive but who do not display any Coronavirus symptoms.

From Thursday 25 March, asymptomatic people will be able to get tested at Loftus Community Fire Station, a joint initiative between the Fire Brigade and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, freeing up the Youth Centre for the local community as restrictions are set to gradually lift. The last opportunity to get tested at the Youth Centre will be Saturday 20 March.

The Fire Brigade is working in partnership with the Council as part of the national #ReadyWillingAble campaign to show how the UK’s fire and rescue services are going the extra mile to protect and support their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lateral flow tests taken at the site produce results in around 30 minutes and are sent directly to your mobile phone number or email address.  

The tests are available for anyone aged 18 years or over – irrespective of where they live – and who are not displaying Coronavirus symptoms. From Thursday 25 March, the testing site, which will be based at Loftus Community Fire Station, Coronation Road, Loftus, TS13 4SW, will be open on the following days:

  • Mondays – 8am to 12pm;
  • Tuesdays – 8am to 12pm;
  • Thursdays – 2pm to 6pm;
  • Saturdays – 9am to 1pm. 

Please do not attend if you have symptoms.

Anyone not displaying Coronavirus symptoms can book a test at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or calling the contact centre on 01642 774774. There are also a number of walk-in appointments available so the public can visit the site for a test during opening hours.

The testing will be supported by trained staff and the lateral flow tests will allow residents to test themselves before the results are analysed on-site. The results are usually available within 30 minutes.

. Appointments can also be booked at Redcar Leisure Centre and the Golden Boy Green centre in South Bank by visiting www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk – walk-in tests are also available.

Carl Boasman, Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “We are delighted to provide our fire station at Loftus as a venue for lateral flow testing in the fight against Covid-19.  In addition, our staff are able to support this activity and work alongside colleagues from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to ensure services are available at a local level.”

“At all times we are ready willing and able to take on extra responsibilities and work with partners to support and protect our local communities. We are all in this together, and we are here to keep our Communities safe.”

Cllr Steve Kay, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “As a Council, we are pleased to be working with our partners Cleveland Fire Service to continue our efforts in delivering asymptomatic testing to residents of East Cleveland.

“Our three asymptomatic testing sites in Redcar and Cleveland allow our residents and key workers to get themselves tested which protects their loved ones and the vulnerable in our communities. About one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising.

“We want to thank everyone for taking part in the asymptomatic testing so far, and to our partners Cleveland Fire Service for supporting the effort. People have really stepped up which will help us in our endeavour to return to normal life as quickly as possible.”

If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you are on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. To apply, please visit: https://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/coronavirus/Pages/Test-and-Trace-Support-Scheme.aspx