A new testing site is to open in Jarrow as part of the government's drive to combat COVID-19.
The facility will be based in the former Jarrow Library site in Monkton Road and, when operational, will be open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm and will be in place for at least the next three months.
Preparations are currently being made to the site, including closing the footpath which runs between the Library building and the Royal Mail Delivery Office, to ensure the test site has a safe one-way system in place. It is expected the site will be open from next Tuesday (27 October).
While South Tyneside Council is supporting the establishment of the testing site, the facility is operated by the Department of Health and Social Care in partnership with Sodexo and will offer self-administered tests.
Testing is only available for those either with coronavirus symptoms - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense or taste - or those who have been asked to get tested by a doctor, public health professional or by their local council. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test without delay through the national COVID-19 booking system at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Tom Hall, Director of Public Health, said: "This walkthrough site means that local people who do not have their own transport can more easily access a test if they have symptoms or have been asked to get tested.
"We have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care to provide additional testing capacity as this supports all the work we're doing to keep infection rates down and keep residents safe, as well as keeping schools and businesses open."
Anyone attending an appointment at the testing site will be advised how to get to and from the test site safely, as well as the public health measures they need to follow, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout.
The Department of Health and Social Care has also approved two further local testing sites in South Tyneside which are in the process of being finalised providing further testing capacity across the borough.
More about the local testing site in Jarrow.