Frontline workers and their families can now avail of COVID-19 testing at City of Derry Rugby Club, the Derry News has learned.
The Department of Health and Public Health Agency (PHA) have confirmed that coronavirus testing is now available for key workers who are self-isolating due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.
Workers who believe they need a test should talk to their employers first who will provide the email details for the booking system, the department said. It advised against turning up at a test centre without prior approval.
PHA staff will contact you for further details and to book an appointment at your local test centres.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I am pleased to announce a further expansion of testing to now include additional frontline workers and symptomatic members of their household.
“Importantly, this now includes frontline workers in the private sector, with a focus on staff delivering key medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies.
“Supermarkets, the Telecomm industry and Royal Mail have been contacted directly. Employees who think they are eligible and need to be tested are being instructed to speak to their employer as and when they need a test. The details on how to be tested will be widely circulated across the local industry.
“This latest expansion in testing will allow even more vital workers to return to the front line.”
Those eligible are key workers who are self-isolating because they or someone they live with is displaying symptoms, people over the age of 18 who are displaying symptoms and who live with a key worker who is self-isolating and people aged between 5 and 18 who are displaying symptoms and who live with a key worker who is self-isolating.
A parent or guardian must perform the swab test on 5‑11 year olds. 12-18 year olds can perform the test on themselves. The test is unsuitable for under-fives.
Key workers are those who work in essential areas which includes those in retail and taxi drivers.
One Derry taxi firm welcomed the news on Friday and encouraged drivers to get tested for peace of mind.
A Glassagh Taxis representative said: The COVID-19 testing facility at the City of Derry Rugby Club is open to drivers and their families.
"Get tested for peace of mind and stay safe."
Other workers include those in any government department; the Health and Safety Executive;roles necessary for critical national infrastructure to continue to operate (for example utility, transport sectors); roles necessary to support the health and well-being of the community directly (for example funeral directors, refuse collectors, medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies, food production, agriculture and food sectors, or supply pinch points).
Please note different procedures are in place for HSC staff, who will be advised of local testing arrangements by their line manager.
The City of Derry Rugby Club is situated at Judges Road.
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