A new fast testing centre has been set up on Canvey in an effort to get the area’s Covid cases down.

The Castle Point district currently has the highest number infection rate in south Essex, with latest figures suggesting it is around 819.9 cases recorded per 100,000 people.

Essex County Council has announced a new test site has opened at the Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, in Somnes Avenue, which is specifically for people who do not have Covid symptoms.

The site, which is for Castle Point residents only, offers lateral flow tests which give results in just 30 minutes.

Tests are by appointment only and bookings can be made online.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Infection rates in Castle Point are significant and local health services there and across the county are currently under strain as a result of the new variant of Covid-19.

“A ‘critical incident’ had been declared across Essex with critical care and bed capacity rising as well as high staff sickness and self-isolation levels.

“This additional testing centre will allow us to test even more people where we continue to see worryingly high rates. Thousands of people have already been tested at the fast testing centres we have opened.

“Testing people who feel well will help to identify the hidden cases in the community – people who may be unwittingly infecting others. If you test positive following one of the new fast tests, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test to confirm the initial result.

"If positive, you will also be required to disclose any close contacts to the local or national contact tracing service.

“It is absolutely vital that in addition to these efforts, everyone continues to adhere to the appropriate Covid-19 guidance.

"This includes working from home wherever possible and socially distancing, particularly in indoor settings that are permitted to remain open, such as essential shops and supermarkets.

"Behave as if those around you have Covid-19 and maintain a two-metre distance from anyone outside of your household or support bubble at all times.”


Norman Smith, leader of Castle Point Borough Council added: “This is very good news to help us tackle Covid-19 in Castle Point.

“The Covid-19 infection rate is high across the borough, putting enormous strain on hospitals and care homes. It is crucial that we increase testing to help reduce the spread.

“This new test centre provides rapid testing for residents to pro-actively check they are safe even when they don’t have symptoms. You can still pass the virus on even if you have no symptoms, so I welcome the introduction of this new testing centre at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, Canvey Island.

“I would encourage residents without symptoms to book an appointment online. By working together, we can identify infections quicker and help keep our community safe.”

Residents can also book by calling 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment.