Surge testing update

Today’s blog is brought to you by Christina Gray, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council and Sara Blackmore, Director of Public Health at South Gloucestershire Council.   

Three new mobile testing sites opened over the weekend to begin the asymptomatic testing of residents living in 24 postcode areas across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. These sites form part of the first phase of a new additional community (surge) testing programme designed to further understand changes in some cases of the virus. Viruses change frequently, and it is important that we continue to understand this. The testing will also help to find more positive cases and break chains of transmission, through isolation. 

Two days into this new programme and we have already seen a huge response from residents with thousands of people visiting the three sites for a test. We thank the staff who worked tirelessly this weekend to open these sites in record time and the people who have stepped forward for a test already. We urge others to do their bit to help us better understand the local situation and take a test before this two-week programme ends.   

Over the next week we will be developing more local options for those who can’t make it to a testing centre.    

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday 9 February) we will open five ‘Collect and Drop’ sites situated within libraries across Bristol and three in South Gloucestershire. These eight local sites will be points where people can collect tests for themselves, members of their family or for someone they know who is not able to leave the home. Instructions will be provided with each testing kit and all those collecting kits will be asked to return them to where they picked theirs up.   

The eight Collect and Drop sites will be found at:   

  • Fishponds Library, Robinson House, Hockey’s Ln, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3HL
  • Henleaze Library, 30 Northumbria Dr, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4HP    
  • Junction 3 Library, 138b Lower Ashley Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 0FJ    
  • Whitchurch Library, 7 Oatlands Ave, Bristol BS14 0SX    
  • Wick Road Library, Wick Rd, Brislington, Bristol BS4 4HE     
  • Downend Library, BS16 5TW    
  • Emerson Green Library, BS16 7AP    
  • Staple Hill Library, BS16 5LS   

No booking is needed to visit a Collect and Drop site and they are open for anyone aged over 16 who live in the specified postcode areas, and do not have symptoms. Once you collect your test, please take it home with you to complete. It’s much safer to do this at home rather than out and about or in your car.   

We’re sure there will be many questions about these tests and this new system, and we will continue to provide as much information as we can through the Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils’ websites.    

You can also visit YouTube to learn how to take a home test by watching an instructional video from the Department of Health and Social Care.