Published: 18:08, 11 January 2021
| Updated: 12:51, 12 January 2021
The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands Kent County Council's (KCC) historic HQ at County Hall, in Sessions House, Maidstone, will be one of 10 new sites created over the next 20 days.
Rapid coronavirus tests, that gives results within a couple of hours, are being provided to people who do not have any symptoms but may, unknowingly, be spreading the virus.
A total of 14 Covid test centres are currently open in 12 Kent areas, including Dartford, Sheppey, Ramsgate, Gravesend and Tunbridge Wells, with 41,000 tests carried out at these locations over the last four weeks.
Under this, 450 people in Kent (Not including Medway) were found to be positive with the virus. This represents around 1% of the total number of people tested.
Cllr Clair Bell (Con), KCC's public health cabinet member, said: "It means that 450 people who did not know they have Covid will have been able to isolate and reduce their risk of spreading the virus quite dramatically."
KCC chiefs hope that a total of 24 test centres will be open in the 12 districts and boroughs from February. This does not include Medway, which has several test sites, including Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham.
Speaking at KCC's online cabinet meeting today, Cllr Bell added: "More sites will open shortly and we should have two in every district by the end of the month."
Around 87,000 cases have been recorded in Kent since the start of the pandemic last March.
Opposition councillors have supported the expansion of testing capacity, but warned the sites should have been made ready sooner.
Cllr Dara Farell (Lab), who is KCC's Labour group leader, added: "It is positive, but seems to be late in the day.
"From the start, the World Health Organisation said testing would be the way out of this crisis.
"The government has not committed to stopping asymptomatic transmission, wasting millions of pounds on the test and trace system.
"Their priority now should be to open more vaccination centres."
KCC's main opposition leader, Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem), of Maidstone, said he hopes the sites will be placed in easily accessible locations for residents that struggle to travel far from home.
At the walk-through locations, people will undergo a swab test that gives results within a couple of hours of attending by text or email. Those who are found to have Covid will be told to self-isolate for 10 days.
Where are the asymptomatic test sites?
Northfleet Youth Club, Hall Road, Gravesend
Swanley Youth Club, St Mary’s Road
Dover Discovery Centre, York Street
Folkestone Library. 2 Grace Hill, Folkestone
Unit 1 Eurogate Business Park, Thomson Road, Ashford
The Centre, Birchington, Alpha Road, Birchington
Sidney Cooper Gallery, 22-23 St Peter’s Street, Canterbury
Larkfield Library Martin Square, Larkfield
Fairfield Leisure Centre, Lowfield Street, Dartford
Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Tunbridge Wells
To book a symptom-free test, click here.
What if I have symptoms?
Residents with coronavirus symptoms, which include a cough, high temperature and loss of smell and taste, should visit a drive-through regional testing centre.
They include Ashford's Victoria Road car park, Manston Airport in Ramsgate and Rochester in Curtis Way coach park.
People with symptoms can book a test by clicking here.