Leaders viewpoint: Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council

I am very pleased to announce the uptake of lateral flow testing in Hyndburn has been fantastic. Many of our larger businesses and organisations have this testing now within their own premises and last week we welcomed a new test centre in Accrington, which is open to our wider community. Lateral Flow testing is for people with no symptoms and is a quick way to get peace of mind, before undertaking essential work in our community.

The Lateral flow test site, at Unit 4 on Broadway in Accrington, is open to anyone who has to leave their house for work purposes and is for people with no symptoms of COVID-19. So far taxi drivers, care workers and people in essential retail work have made use of the facility.

People can turn up without an appointment during the opening hours, Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4pm. The results are very quick, with many receiving it within a couple of hours. I am asking all people who have to leave their house for work purposes to go and get a free test, help us protect our local community.

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 are able to get a test at either our Eastgate or Great Harwood test site by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus. The three main symptoms of coronavirus are: continuous cough, temperature and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. As the pandemic has progressed and there has been more research into various symptoms, we are also encouraging people in Hyndburn to get tested if they have some of the other symptoms that have been reported to be linked to the virus. This ask has come from the Lancashire Resilience Forum, which includes regional Public Health Directors, and we fully support it in Hyndburn.

If you have symptoms that are not one of the main three when booking a test you can select the reason for booking as ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me to’. The less common symptoms include : aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, headache, conjunctivitis, tiredness and rash/discolouration on fingers or toes.

Please remember, Hyndburn Hub support is still here and available for anyone who needs it. This can be anything from support after a positive test result to helping you get essential items if you have to self-isolate. You can refer yourself or someone else to the hub by emailing enquiries@hyndburnbc.gov.uk or call 01254 388 111.