More than 15,944 tests have been carried out at 3 community testing centres in the area to identify people who have the virus but have no symptoms.
And around 246 people have tested positive since the sites opened before Christmas and in the new year.
Two of the centres, which were set up on a short-term basis, will close – with Grove Hall in Swadlincote winding down tomorrow (Friday 29 January 2021) and Gresley Old Hall due to close on 5 February 2021.
But a third site at Midway Community Centre on Chestnut Avenue, Swadlincote, will remain open so that local people aged 11 and over can continue to get tested regularly to help prevent new outbreaks.
Mr Wallace said:
“The response we’ve had from people in and around Swadlincote coming forward to get tested has been fantastic. It means we’ve identified 246 people who otherwise would not have known they had the virus and could have potentially spread it to others had they not taken the test.
“But we can’t be complacent. Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus have no symptoms. That’s why we’re keeping our testing centre at Midway Community Centre up-and-running so that people can continue to get tested and be reassured that they aren’t unwittingly passing on the virus to loved ones.
“We need everyone who lives and works in the area to keep up the good work and continue with their regular testing routine. By doing this, they will help to break the chain of transmission, resulting in far fewer people being infected and ensuring hospitals have the capacity to treat other illnesses like cancer.
Mr Wallace also extended his thanks to the Joint Military Command (East) who deployed around 120 service personnel to the area to help set up the 3 sites in the Swadlincote area which have become the model for setting up other community testing sites elsewhere in the county.
Rapid lateral flow tests, which give results in about 30 minutes, will continue to be offered at Midway Community Centre. Alongside the test, people will continue to be offered advice and help with financial support that they may be entitled to if they need to self-isolate, and help to access wider benefits.
Other established methods of testing for people with symptoms will continue alongside community testing and people who have a high temperature, continuous cough or have lost their sense of smell or taste should book a test online or tel: 119.
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said:
“Getting these centres set up in such a short amount of time was no mean feat and I’m pleased that colleagues were able to rise to the challenge and go on to set up sites in other parts of Derbyshire with more to follow.
“I’d like to thank them for all their work and I’m also grateful to the military for their support too.”
“But our work isn’t finished. We’re keeping a community testing centre open in Swadlincote so that people who live and work in the area can continue to get regular checks to see if they have the virus.
“It’s also important to remember that getting a test doesn’t mean you can’t still catch the virus, so please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.”
Those attending community testing centres are asked not to bring bags or other items with them that they don’t consider to be essential. Parents or guardians are asked to accompany those aged 11 to 16.