Coronavirus: National lockdown

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Coronavirus: Information and advice
Published: Wednesday, 13th January 2021

CORONAVIRUS rapid testing for people without symptoms, will start in Oldham on Monday 18th January.

This is primarily for public facing key workers and staff that find it difficult to socially distance in their workplace.

More than 5,000 businesses in Oldham have been written to with details on how to access the sites.

This asymptomatic testing will play an important part in Oldham’s continuing attempts to contain, manage and ultimately defeat Coronavirus.

Military personnel will work alongside public sector staff to test at four sites in Oldham. These are:

•           Shaw Lifelong Learning Centre, High St, Shaw

•           Failsworth Town Hall- Oldham Road, Failsworth

•           Oldham Community Leisure Centre, Middleton Road, Oldham Town Centre

•           Uppermill Civic Hall - Lee Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth

No appointment is necessary, however invited people will need to being identification which confirms place of work or status as a key worker, for example work identification badge or key worker letter. Full details of opening times can be found at

Businesses who have been part of the pilot within Oldham have reported many benefits from taking part such as:

  • Contributing to the overall employee wellbeing, through increased safety in the workplace and
  • It has broken the chain of Covid transmission at the earliest opportunity reducing the likelihood of further staff contracting the virus and requiring to isolate along with their contacts.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council, said: “This is another significant piece of the jigsaw to tackle Coronavirus in Oldham and the call to action is for businesses and workers to continue to play their part and we thank them for their efforts so far.

“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, testing has been a key feature of managing and containing the spread of the virus. Until this point, testing has mainly been available for people with symptoms.

“Oldham (along with other Greater Manchester areas) is part of the national programme to offer regular rapid testing to people with no symptoms. In Oldham, regular and weekly testing is being offered to people who are at higher risk of coming into contact with the virus (for example due to working in public facing roles or in workplaces with high numbers of staff), as well as settings where the risks of spreading the virus are greatest. 

“Rapid tests use an oral/nasal swab, but do not need to be processed by a specialist laboratory and therefore results can be available within 30 minutes – a great advantage in managing our response to Coronavirus.”


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