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Norfolk County Council launches new mobile coronavirus testing service

10 May 2021

Norfolk County Council is asking people to climb aboard one of four new buses to get tested for COVID-19.  This can help to identify the one in three people who may have Covid without any symptoms so they can avoid passing the virus on to family, friends and colleagues.

The authority is the first in the country to commission and deploy multiple units of the specially converted mobile clinical buses, which are out and about in Norfolk from Monday (10 May).  The buses are for people who aren’t showing any symptoms of coronavirus, to have rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests.

The buses have been converted by Project MOVE, a scheme created to help provide mobile clinical services in more locations.  The converted Oxford Bus Company vehicles will be operated by Norfolk Go-Ahead Group sister company Konectbus.

Each bus has the capacity to undertake up to 100 observed rapid tests a day.  Observed tests are where people swab themselves under the guidance of a trained operator who then processes the test, reads the result and records it.

People may want to get an observed test because:

  • It is more likely to get an accurate result as a trained operator is present
  • They’re simple and supervised to help get it right
  • People just need to turn up or book at a site
  • The team register the test onto the national NHS Test and Trace system

Director of Public Health Norfolk, Dr Louise Smith said: “This is great news for our county and means testing is even more readily available.  By identifying those who are carrying the virus without symptoms, we can help break the chain of transmission.  Testing is one of the key ways to help us return to normality so it is imperative that people take regular tests, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated.”

Norfolk County Council COVID-19 Mobile Testing Units will be in place at the following between 10-15 May:

  • Waitrose, Eaton Centre, Church Lane, Eaton, Norwich, NR4 6NU
  • Next, Longwater Business Park, William Frost Way, New Costessey, Norwich, NR5 0JS
  • Tesco Superstore, Thetford Rd, Watton, Thetford, IP25 6BQ
  • Tesco Extra, Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, NR7 8AB