Concerns over the closure of Market Rasen covid test centre

Witch cases of Covid-19 infection across the West Lindsey area remaining high, the decision to close the Market Rasen test centre has been called in to question.

The centre in Market Rasen Festival Hall has been operating since April

The centre, within the town’s Festival Hall, opened on April 26 and allowed any member of the public, not showing symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19), to get a supervised rapid-turnaround lateral flow test or pick up home testing kits.

Today, Wednesday October 27, the centre closes.

Town resident Guy Grainger was one of those who expressed his thoughts to the Rasen Mail.

He said: “It does not seem to be a sensible step to take in terms of public health.

“This decision also sends a poor message to the population living in the Market Rasen area – either that the threat is receding or, if not, that the health of Market Rasen residents is not a top priority for the Government.”

As of Monday night’s Government figures, West Lindsey District Council area was showing a rate of 698.6 per 100,000, against the national average for England of 488.5.

However, this was a reduction for West Lindsey District Council, meaning the area dropped from fifth highest to 45th in the national rankings.

Local councillor Stephen Bunney believes covid figures remain a concern and to take away this service is the wrong thing to do.

He said: “The team here has really worked hard making the home testing kits as accessible as possible to other outlets within the town, as well as at the Festival Hall.

“To have the decision made to withdraw this service seems tat it is not thought money being spent on testing is beneficial – it is very disappointing and in my opinion a wrong move..

“The rural nature of our area is often forgotten and this is why it was such a valued service.”

When the centre opened in April, working in partnership with the county council, the chief executive of West Lindsey Council, Ian Knowles, urged people to “make use of the tests to ensure we are able to keep the most vulnerable people in our community safe.”

○ West Lindsey District Council was contacted for a comment on this development, but one was not received before the Market Rasen Mail went to print.