coronavirus Local News

Community testing site at Picket Twenty sports pavilion getting ready for kick off

The sports pavilion at Picket Twenty is set to be used as a community testing site for eligible residents without coronavirus symptoms from next week.

Subject to government approval, the Test Valley Borough Council sports pavilion at Picket Twenty will be one of 11 community testing sites across Hampshire, and is expected to begin operating on Tuesday 23 February.

The appointment-only scheme, which will run for six weeks and is being delivered by Hampshire County Council in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and local district councils, is aimed at Hampshire residents who travel regularly outside their home for work and who are not covered by an existing workplace testing scheme.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Phil North, said: “Getting this site ready as a community testing facility has been no mean feat and I am really pleased that we have been instrumental in bringing this forward. Although it would have been ideal to get this in place prior to now it’s inevitable that these things take time to be approved from the centre, so I cannot thank the staff at Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council enough for the huge amount of work they have undertaken to turn this around as quickly as possible to get the site ready to open its doors next week.

Effective testing and, of course, the phenomenal vaccination programme, offer light at the end of the tunnel, and we will do everything we can to support our NHS and public health colleagues to deliver those. With The Lights theatre in Andover and Crosfield Hall in Romsey operating as successful vaccine sites, and the recent opening of the testing site at Shepherds Spring Lane car park, we have been keen to play our part in keeping people safe and hopefully bringing this pandemic to an end.”

The Picket Twenty site is only for those who are asymptomatic. Anyone experiencing symptoms, and anyone with a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste should book a test at or by calling 119.

How rapid asymptomatic testing works

  • Tests can be booked online 24 hours in advance through the County Council website and appointments should take no more than 30 minutes. Anyone who cannot book online should contact their district council, who will be able to book a test on your behalf.
  • You will be asked not to eat anything for 30 minutes prior to your test.
  • You will take a lateral flow test, which involves a self-administered swab of the nose and throat, under the guidance of trained staff.
  • Results will be confirmed after leaving the testing site by text message sent direct to your mobile (or to a nominated mobile phone belonging to a family member or friend, if you do not have your own).
  • You will be invited to return for testing every three to five days throughout the six-week programme.
  • Anyone receiving a positive test result will need to follow self-isolation guidance, but will not need to book a follow-up test.

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