Main picture: Members of the public will remain in their vehicle while swabs are taken at the new drive-through testing unit. (Please note: This picture does not feature a real patient.)
Swansea Bay University Health Board has opened a drive-through Coronavirus testing centre to help protect the health of our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Like similar centres in other parts of the UK, people who need to be tested will be able to access it once they have been directed by prior arrangement and appointment only, usually through the 111 service. (Updated since this media release was originally written – access is now only available via an appointment arranged by a worker’s employer. It is no longer via 111.)
The testing centre has been set up in a former playing field changing rooms off the M4, a site chosen because it is conveniently close to the motorway - so accessible for many of our local communities.
People who have an appointment to use it will be invited to drive there, and will have swabs taken by staff in protective clothing while they remain in their vehicle.
This is designed to make it easy for people who have access to their own car to have the test simply and quickly, without even needing to exit their vehicle. It also mitigates the risk of people who may be infected with the virus from attending a hospital or health centre for the test, and then passing it to patients.
Keith Reid, Swansea Bay Director of Public Health, said: “The demand for testing people for COVID-19 is growing, so it is important that we are able to provide a convenient and safe way to provide tests in a timely way, and which makes the best use of our hard-working staff.
“People who don’t drive or don’t have access to a car can still be tested in their own home.
“We are very grateful to Neath Port Talbot Council for allowing us to use their land to set up the unit.”
Stringent infection control measures are in place at the testing unit, and staff have also been issued with specialist protective clothing.
Please note that the testing unit is accessible by appointment only. Do not attend if you do not have an appointment, as you will not be seen. If you are concerned you may have Coronavirus, there is now an online COVID-19 symptom checker available. Please do not attend your GP surgery, the hospital emergency department or the minor injury unit.