HEALTH chiefs are assessing two sites in Warrington town centre to become coronavirus testing centres.

At the moment as well as getting testing kits sent home, residents can travel to Haydock or Liverpool Airport for a Covid-19 test if they display symptoms.

While a mobile testing unit has been deployed regularly at Orford Jubilee Hub since the pandemic began.

Regular testing is also continuing at care homes.

But health chiefs are now looking to meet the demand for testing with a permanent site in the town centre.

A report to be studied by councillors on Thursday said that site is in the early stages of being set up.

Work has started on creating a Local Testing Site (LTS) in the town centre.

The report states: "LTS are smaller (relatively) local testing sites which are designed to be accessible to people on foot or bike to help further improve local access.

"Two options have been submitted and are currently being assessed for technical suitability.

"Whilst Warrington was initially allocated one LTS we are now exploring the potential of adding two more sites to the programme to ensure sufficient local access for our residents.

"Planning for this work is still in early development."

A local outbreak management team has been set up to help deal with any local outbreaks.

The report also states that 99 per cent of cases received by the national test and trace service are followed up successfully.

But although case numbers are relatively low, latest figures for Warrington show that the national test and trace system is not meeting the 80 per cent target for completed cases, furthermore approximately 40 per cent of contacts are not contacted by the national system.

The report said: "It is crucial that there is timely follow-up of all cases and their contacts to prevent potential further outbreaks.

"Local areas are not currently funded to follow up these ‘non-complex’ cases. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed promptly to ensure the whole system works as effectively and efficiently as possible."

The report will be discussed at Thursday's Health and Wellbeing board.