Chesterfield Virus Testing Centre Open To All Townsfolk From Today
Concerned residents across Chesterfield worried about Covid-19 will be able to access a coronavirus testing centre in the town.
A testing centre has been based at Chesterfield FC's Technique Stadium (previously known as Proact Stadium) since April, but it has only been open for key workers.
The town's Labour MP Toby Perkins launched a campaign to open the site up to residents across the town, saving them from travelling dozens miles to see if they had the virus.
From today, people living in the town will now be able to access the testing centre at the home of the Spireites to see if they have contracted the virus.
Taking to Twitter to share the news Mr Perkins wrote: "At last! I've finally managed to persuade the NHS that Chesterfield people must be able to access #COVID testing here.
"As of Monday, June 22, we'll be able to access tests at a 'permanent' site at the (Chesterfield FC) stadium on the national portal."
The Labour MP had previously argued in Parliament that the Chesterfield case was "a local example of a national failure" on testing.
Speaking in the House of Commons on June 4, Mr Perkins said: "The people of Chesterfield were incredibly happy when Derbyshire clinical commissioning group set up a coronavirus testing unit in the car park of the (football) stadium in Chesterfield.
"But weeks after it was set up, the vast majority of people from Chesterfield are unable to get a test there, because it is only for key workers, meaning that Chesterfield residents have to travel 30 or 40 miles to get a test.
"I have been attempting to pursue this, but it seems to be a local example of the national failure.
"All this testing capacity is going home after an hour every day and people are unable to get a test.
"Can we have a debate in Government time on the Government’s entire testing strategy so that people can bring local examples and help the Government to really get on top of testing?"
On March 16, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged everybody in the UK to work from home and avoid pubs and restaurants.
Schools, pubs, restaurants and other gathering places were then ordered to shut.
And on March 23, the public in the UK were ordered to stay home except for making necessary journeys to buy food or medicine or to go to work for those who are key workers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson did say on May 9 though that lockdown would be eased slightly as he outlined a blueprint for getting the UK out of lockdown.
People can now do unlimited exercise and those who cannot work from home can be allowed to go to work.
From June 1, some schools have reopened and now up to six people can meet outside as long as social distancing rules are adhered to.
The PM hopes to open some areas of the leisure sector by the beginning of July at the earliest.
Published: 22/06/2020 By Nick Reid