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Coronavirus testing station set up in Sheerness car park

A temporary testing station for coronavirus has been set up on the seafront at a Kent town.

Staff are now testing drive-in patients for Covid-19 in the car park in Beach Street, Sheerness, next to a sandpit, ice cream kiosk and amusement arcade.

Car entering the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Car entering the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden

Manager Adrian Gray said: "We are never quite sure where we will be deployed. We have two mobile teams and six sites in Kent. This is the first time we have been to Sheppey."

Staff set up two gazebos yesterday (Tuesday). Mr Gray said: "We had 60 patients yesterday and we are expecting the same today. We usually stay at each site for three days."

But he stressed: "This is only for people who have booked via the Government or NHS website. You can't turn up and expect to be tested. You must have a pre-booked appointment."

Tests have been limited because of the capacity of laboratories.

Staff take swabs from the back of the throat and send the samples to be tested. The process at Sheerness looked very streamlined with tests taking only a matter of seconds.

Three cars queuing for tests at the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness, on Wednesday. Picture: John Nurden
Three cars queuing for tests at the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness, on Wednesday. Picture: John Nurden

The site, run by G4S, is on a Swale council seafront car park at the end of Beach Street next to a children's sandpit, skate park, amusement arcade and two ice cream kiosks.

Kent has five other temporary sites in Sittingbourne, Dover, Canterbury, Maidstone and Folkestone. They are coordinated by a regional testing centre at Rochester.

The arrival of testers on Sheppey yesterday coincided with the announcement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest measures to beat the pandemic. Today is the six-month anniversary of the start of lockdown.

Car entering the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Car entering the temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Car park out of bounds to make room fora temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Car park out of bounds to make room fora temporary coronavirus testing station in Beach Street, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey here

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