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16th October 2020

Temporary testing unit set up as Fallowfield falls foul to Covid-19

A mobile Covid-19 testing unit has opened in the Armitage Centre, as Fallowfield cases rocket
Temporary testing unit set up as Fallowfield falls foul to Covid-19
Photo: Armitage-61 @Flickr

A new mobile covid-19 testing unit (MTU) is now available, situated in the car park of the Armitage Centre on Moseley Road.

With the aim of making the tests more accessible to the public, the MTU is a walk-through centre, rather than a drive-through testing facility. So far, the unit carried out tests from Tuesday 13th October through to Thursday 15th of October, from 10:30am – 6pm. No information has been released yet on whether the unit will remain in the area.

The Manchester Council’s decision to implement the testing unit is responding to the high demand for testing, particularly in the area of Fallowfield, which has been labelled as the UK’s coronavirus hotspot. 

The sudden spike in cases is most prevalent among students, with the recent data showing 1500 positive cases and 4000 students in isolation. Alarm bells have therefore been raised over both the safety of the students and the safety of local residents who are predominantly considered to be part of higher risk groups. 

Perhaps even more worrying than the dramatic rise in Coronavirus cases is the fact that many expected this outcome, but it seems little in the way of precautions were taken to reduce the spread of the virus amongst Manchester students. 

General secretary Jo Grady states in regard to the spread of Coronavirus amongst students, “We warned last month of the problems with moving thousands of students across the country and the time has come for urgent action from ministers and universities to protect staff and students.” 

Action clearly needs to be taken in the area to control the spread of the virus to ensure the safety of students and local residents now and in the upcoming months. There has not yet been any information about whether MTUs will be available in the Fallowfield area for dates following October 15th, but evidenced by the area’s high infection rate the demand for coronavirus tests will most certainly be there. 

The MTU will deliver tests to those who book in advance using the GOV website or by calling 119. The council stresses “Please do not book a test if you do not have symptoms of Covid-19.”

The government’s advice regarding self-isolating remains, if you have covid-19 symptoms or have received a positive test result, you must stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days and those in the same household must self-isolate for 14 days. 

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