North Wales drive-through centre to increase testing capacity

North Wales will increase its Coronavirus testing capacity with the opening of a new drive-through centre in Llandudno this week.

The North Wales drive-through testing centre, located on the Builder Street coach park, becomes operational on Wednesday (April 29th) and will begin by testing critical workers.

Given its central regional location and significant size, the site greatly increases testing capability as North Wales Resilience Forum partners continue to work with the Welsh and UK Governments to protect communities during the outbreak.

Only critical workers displaying symptoms of the virus will be referred to the drive-through at present. These include staff from the NHS, police, fire and ambulance services; care homes and other critical workers defined in Welsh Government policy. They will be able to drive on to the site and self-swab without leaving their vehicles.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Executive Director of Public Health, Teresa Owen, has led work to set up the centre on behalf of the North Wales Resilience Forum.

She explained, “The new drive-through testing centre in Llandudno will play an integral part in our response to Coronavirus in North Wales.”

“The site will greatly increase our regional testing capability and complements several existing Health Board Community Testing Units (CTUs) for critical workers and NHS staff across the region. Together, these facilities will help safeguard the public, provide the best possible outcome for patients and keep essential services running.”

The Builder Street drive-through testing centre is being developed in partnership with UK Government and Deloitte to deliver the UK-wide coronavirus testing of critical workers. Key partners on the North Wales facility also include the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, North Wales Police, Conwy County Borough Council and other Resilience Forum partners.

North Wales Police's Assistant Chief Constable, Sacha Hatchett, who chairs the North Wales Resilience Forum, added, “The demand for Coronavirus testing amongst our critical workers is growing. The site on Builder Street represents the next phase of our testing response to support critical workers in vital areas of public service.”

“We have mobilised quickly with the support of partners and the military to create a suitable drive-through centre which increases our testing capacity in North Wales. This new centre allows us to provide Coronavirus testing in a convenient, timely and, above all else, a safe way for all involved in the process.”

The testing centre will not pose a risk to the public as stringent infection prevention measures are in place to protect people, staff and the wider community.

Ends 27.4.20
For further information: Gethin Jones, Communications Unit (01248) 752130

Notes to Editors:

The North Wales Resilience Forum is the official organisation representing civil contingency partners in North Wales. It is responsible for promotion of emergency planning, exercising, community resilience and community engagement.

The NWRF works with statutory agencies, voluntary sector, businesses and communities to encourage resilience/planning for emergencies and risks. Its work is centred around the identified risks for our geographical area within the Community Risk Register.

The Welsh Government’s Key (critical) workers testing policy: coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here: https://gov.wales/key-critical-workers-testing-policy-coronavirus-covid-19