Covid testing update

Rapid testing for people without symptoms

Everyone in Blackburn with Darwen without symptoms of coronavirus can access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing.

Rapid tests using lateral flow devices are available from the borough’s three testing hubs:

  • Ewood Park (Darwen End) open: 8am-3pm (Mon-Fri)
  • King George’s Hall, Blackburn open: 7.30am-3pm (Mon-Fri)
  • Work at Over Darwen House, BB3 2RG open: 7.30am-3pm (Mon-Fri)

You do not need to book and your test results will usually be available in half an hour. You will need a mobile number or email address to register when you arrive.

Following the Government’s announcement that everyone in England will be able to access twice-weekly free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing from April 9, people without symptoms can also get rapid testing kits in a number of extra ways too:

Please note that lateral flow testing is not required within 90 days of a positive result. Individuals and workplaces who choose to continue lateral flow testing within 90 days of a positive test can still access support from the Council’s Public Health and Outbreak Management teams (BWDCOVID19@blackburn.gov.uk)

Further information about rapid testing.

Testing for people with symptoms

If you are worried or have any doubts about any possible covid-19 symptoms you can also attend one of the borough’s other walk-in testing facilities or the permanent testing site outside the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Appointments for the site outside the hospital are available via the national system. You can register and book online or by calling 119. The registration process takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. This provides you with an appointment.

We also have two walk-in sites at the locations below. Please note that these sites do not offer SMART tests and therefore your results will taken longer to arrive. You can book an appointment on-line, or just attend the site.

  • Blackburn college car park open 08:00-20:00
  • Railway Road car park, Darwen open 08:00-20:00

Parking is not available on site. Free parking is available on Knott Street, Atlas Road or Darwen Market Roof Top.

Please maintain social distancing and wear a face covering when you attend for a test.

A home test kit is available by calling 119 or you can request a home kit to be posted out to you online. When you have done your test at home and are ready to post your kit back, you need to use a Royal Mail priority postbox. You can find your nearest priority postbox on the Royal Mail website.

Blackburn with Darwen residents are being urged to take a Covid test following a rise in cases of Covid-19.

The rise is linked, in part, to cases of the variant first identified in India.

Following the identification of cases of this Variant of Concern, mainly in Shear Brow & Corporation Park and the surrounding areas, Blackburn with Darwen Council has been working closely with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace to develop a programme of additional PCR testing and enhanced contact tracing for these areas.

From Tuesday, 18 May, there will be enhanced COVID-19 testing – known as surge testing – for anyone living, working or going to school in these postcode areas:

  • BB1 6**
  • BB1 7**
  • BB1 8**
  • and BB2 6**

Positive samples will then be sent for analysis at a laboratory to find out if there are any more cases of the variant in the area.

The aim of the enhanced testing programme is to understand whether the variant first identified in India has spread further in the community.

People in these areas are encouraged to take a PCR test over the next two weeks starting from Tuesday 18 May.

Anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus should stay at home and book a free test online or by phone, so they can be tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to their home.

Tests can be booked on this link: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

People who do not have symptoms can collect PCR test kits by visiting one of the following community hubs from Tuesday 18 May:

  • Revidge Fold United Reform Church, Shear Brow BB1 8DS (Mon to Fri 8am–6.30pm and Sat & Sun 10am–4pm)
  • Corporation Park main entrance, Preston New Road BB2 6AH (Mon to Fri 8am–6.30pm and Sat & Sun 10am–4pm)
  • Bangor Street Community Centre, Norwich Street BB1 6NZ (Mon to Fri 8am–6.30pm and Sat & Sun 10am–4pm)

From these locations people can collect PCR tests for themselves and their household/neighbours, take them home, carry out the tests and then return them to the same place they collected them, for sending to the lab for testing.

People will only need to take one test each, and we urge those who test positive to self-isolate with everyone in their home to stop the spread of the virus.

Support is available to people who have to self-isolate due to Covid-19, including financial support. You can find out more at www.blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-residents

Council engagement teams will also be out and about encouraging people in the areas most affected by the Indian variant to get tested, and answering any questions about surge testing.

Staff will be on hand to speak with people about how to complete their test, explaining why surge testing is important, asking people for their help and support by encouraging their wider family and friendship networks to come forward and take tests too, and offering reassurance about the new variant.

As well as getting tested it is also vital that everyone in Blackburn with Darwen continues to follow the guidelines and the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ rules – as this is the most effective way to control the spread of all Covid-19 variants.

A number of cases of the Covid-19 variant first identified in India have been detected across the North West – in Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton and Sefton – as well as in London. It was classified as a ‘Variant of Concern’, however there is currently no evidence that it causes more severe illness, is more deadly or makes the current vaccines any less effective. Public Health England is currently working to understand this variant better, and surge testing in Blackburn with Darwen will support this.

The advice to everyone in Blackburn with Darwen is to be cautious of this rise in cases locally, and continue to follow the government guidance, particularly after moving to Step 3 of the government’s roadmap on Monday 17 May.

Everyone living in other parts of the borough is encouraged to take up the free rapid testing offer regularly.

The message is to ‘Test and Go’ before going out to work, visit the shops, hairdressers, hospitality and other businesses and services.

Test, trace, self-isolate | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council