A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at Abercynon Railway Station in Rhondda Cynon Taf as part of the UK Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other essential workers.
The site sits alongside a rapidly expanding network of testing sites being set up around the UK, and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers. The facility will be piloted for its first few days of operation.
This follows the launch of the UK Government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new labs and testing sites across the UK, with 49 regional testing sites opened to date.
This network will provide thousands more PCR swab tests – which are used to identify if you currently have the virus – for critical essential workers. This means those who test negative for coronavirus can return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“The Government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.
“This new service will help end the uncertainty of whether NHS and social care staff and other essential workers need to stay at home, meaning those who test negative will be able to return to work.
“This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
“Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges Wales and the UK has ever faced and increased testing will play a vital role as we continue the fight against the pandemic.
“Thanks to the incredible work of scientists, industry partners and the armed forces, we have been able to quickly roll out testing centres right across Wales.
“This additional testing centre in Rhondda Cynon Taff will ensure that more essential workers across south Wales can receive the vital tests they need.”
Professor John Newton, National Coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said:
“New testing sites such as this one are a key pillar of our 5-pillar plan to scale up testing, and are critical in supporting NHS staff and other frontline workers who are isolating at home to return safely to work if the test is negative.”
“This is a brilliant example of industries and businesses turning their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale.”
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, following assistance to set up by the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Rhondda Cynon Taf and other partners. The centre will offer drive-through testing, and those tested will receive their results within a few days.