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27/10/2021

Local representatives call for Covid test centre in County Derry town

A local MLA and councillor have made the call after a rise in cases.

Local representatives call for Covid test centre in County Derry town

Two County Derry representatives have called for a Covid-19 testing centre to be located in Limavady.

The SDLP's Cara Hunter MLA and Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Ashleen Schenning have made the call as the Covid rate continues to rise across Northern Ireland.

Ms Hunter has written to the Department of Health (DoH) about problems posed by the rural nature of the Limavady area.

"With the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the North myself and other local SDLP representatives have been contacted by a number of concerned constituents who have had difficulties accessing Covid-19 testing," she said.

“Limavady is a rural part of the constituency and not everyone is capable of travelling to the nearest testing site in Coleraine or Derry.

"While I understand home testing is also available, not everyone feels capable or confident in properly administering them and this could lead to cases of Covid-19 going undetected, allowing it to spread unknowingly in our community. 

“Given the large population of Limavady and the many surrounding rural communities I have written to the Department of Health asking them to establish a testing site in Limavady as a matter of urgency.

"I feel a local testing site gives us the best chance of stopping the spread of Covid-19 in this area and keeping people healthy and safe.” 

Local councillor Ashleen Schenning said she had also raised the issue on a number of occasions.

"It has thus far fallen on deaf ears," she said.

"Limavady has seen a number of Covid-19 outbreaks throughout the pandemic and needs a tailored approach with cases on the rise across the North once more. 

“Limavady also has a large neighbourhood renewal area and my biggest concern would be families will be left unable to travel to a testing centre due to issues linked to poverty.

"A testing centre would give renewed confidence to people in this area allowing them to go about their lives without fearing the impact of Covid-19.”  

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