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More than 4,000 people tested at Cathedral as it prepares to close

Published Friday, 26th March 2021

Worcester Cathedral is to close its Covid testing facility today (Friday 26th) – seven weeks after it opened its doors to the community to help in the fight against the virus.

The Cathedral has been offering anyone over the age of 18 with no Covid symptoms a free, rapid asymptomatic test to help drive down transmission rates. More than 4,500 people have been tested at the historic building since it opened on February 2nd.

But the testing facility, run in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), will close at 5.30pm today with Easter just around the corner.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire, said: “We are extremely grateful to Worcester Cathedral for offering their space to help in the fight against Covid.

“For six weeks this iconic building has served the community in a way no-one could have ever imagined.

“We know the Cathedral is readying itself for the busy Easter period now and the testing facility must close to allow the building to serve the community in its intended capacity.”

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “We are delighted to have been able to offer this sacred place as a Covid testing facility at a time when the city was in need of suitable spaces and I would pay tribute to the staff of the testing facility for the wonderful way they have managed the facility and welcomed visitors.”

From Monday (29th) residents in Worcester over the age of 18 can now go to the Riverside Building at the University of Worcester on Hylton Road for a free, rapid asymptomatic test or a parent/carer can pick up a home testing kit from there to take away. This will be the case up until the end of April and then it will be reviewed.

Professor David Green CBE, the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “The Lateral Flow device testing centre at the Riverside Building on the University’s Severn Campus has been operating successfully for more than three months now.
“During this time many hundreds of police officers, fire and rescue officers, City Council staff and school staff have been tested, as well as students and staff of the University. The first such centre in Worcestershire, it has been used as the training hub for the more recently established centres across the County. Members of the public will be most welcome up until the end of April.”
Rapid tests provide results within an hour and are used to proactively test people who do not have symptoms. The testing equipment used does not require a laboratory to process the results.
To book a rapid test here's the Book a Test Appointment Form online.
There is also a map of testing and collection points in Worcestershire.