Lateral Covid testing for Wyre workers to be moved from Thornton to Poulton
Lateral flow Covid testing is set to move from Thornton Leisure Centre in Victoria Road East, to Poulton Leisure Centre off Breck Road as part of Fylde Coast YMCA’s reopening plans.
The rapid tests are available to residents who leave their homes to go to work, and display no symptoms of the virus.
The date Covid testing will move from Thornton to Poulton is yet to be confirmed by the council, but on April 12, both Thornton and Garstang gyms will reopen, followed by Fleetwood gym and pool and the pool at Garstang on May 1.
Gym operator Fylde Coast YMCA confirmed it intends to open all the centres, Wyre Council said, and that Poulton Leisure Centre "should reopen by September 2021."
In the meantime, it will provide the lateral flow service to allow symptom-free workers to get tested on a regular basis.
Councillor David Henderson, leader of Wyre Council, said: “Wyre Council has been requested by Lancashire County Council Public Health to provide Lateral Flow Testing facilities in the borough. The council is already using the Civic Centre and Thornton Little Theatre for vaccination centres and now Poulton Leisure Centre will be used as a lateral flow testing site for as long as it is required.
"Lateral flow testing is critical to stopping the spread of coronavirus. Having a testing centre in Wyre means that anyone who has to leave home to work can get tested regularly and stop the spread if they test positive.
"The centre will open in April and we will confirm the date it will move from Thornton soon. Anyone who is self-employed or who works for a business not offering testing can drop in and get tested quickly, and get their results sent to them within 30 minutes.
"It is estimated that around one in three people might not display symptoms but are still infectious. Symptom-free testing allows us to identify more of these cases and break the chain of infection in our community.
"I’d like to thank everyone who has been tested so far, your efforts are making a real difference and I’m pleased to say Wyre currently has one of the lowest infection rates in Lancashire.
“The testing centre is only for those going out to work and who do not have symptoms. Anyone else who is concerned they may have coronavirus should book a test in the normal way, through the NHS website, app or by calling 119.”
Councillor Lynne Bowen, portfolio holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at the council, said: “We are very much looking forward to seeing the leisure centres start to reopen and we’re pleased to have supported this by providing £1.5 million of additional funding across this financial year and next, plus securing National Leisure Recovery government grant funding of £235,000 for the Fylde Coast YMCA.
“The YMCA has previously announced its plan to reopen all the centres between now and September. We are pleased that centres and pools across the borough will begin reopening in the next couple of months and that we can utilise the centre in Poulton to provide this hugely important service to our residents.
“The centres will be assessed on their own performance and over a time period from when each one reopens, so to ensure their future success the public now need to show their support. YMCA staff are looking forward to welcoming members old and new and there are some great membership offers available. The YMCA has some amazing facilities and instructors and it’s crucial that people now take the opportunity to use them.”
Last week, Wyre councillor Holly Swales criticised the decision not to reopen Poulton YMCA at the same time as Thornton, Garstang and Fleetwood.
She said some residents in Poulton had told her they were disappointed the amenity would not reopen sooner than September.
"It's good news Fleetwood swimming pool is going to reopen," Coun Swales said.
"However the battle goes on to reopen Poulton swimming pool and leisure centre which comes under review before September.
"There are people in Poulton who struggle to get to Fleetwood and schools which used it too.
"It is vital this amenity is reopened as soon as possible."
But the council said it was necessary for the facilities to be opened in a phased way, rather than all at once, to enable the Covid testing service to take place.