What happened when we tried to book a coronavirus test

The number of new coronavirus cases in Warrington and the northwest is increasing, numbers show.

As a result, more and more people are looking for coronavirus tests to calm themselves down, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or whether they have been brought into contact with someone who has the virus by NHS test and trace staff Contact is available.

Mobile testing units have been set up in Warrington and Halton while health chiefs seek to meet the demand for testing with a permanent testing center in downtown Warrington.

Since April there has also been a drive-through test facility at Haydock Park Racecourse as well as at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and in Trafford.

But how easy is it to book a test?

Guardian readers have posted in the comments section of our Facebook page the difficulties they faced in getting a test.

Warrington Guardian:

Last week readers said they had been offered a test appointment at centers in Llandudno, Sheffield, Oldham and even Glasgow, while another said they had to do a 40-mile round trip to get a test after taking it for days had tried.

And if that wasn't bad enough, this week's readers say they had nowhere to book a test, despite trying all day.

We also tried to book a test but ran into the same problems. After numerous attempts on Monday and Tuesday, all we had to do was display the message "This service is currently very busy".

We were told there should be more tests available later and asked to try again in a few hours, but we couldn't book a test for the entire day.

The problems we faced, like many in the city, have been described as "unacceptable" by the leaders of Warrington Borough Council. They have stated that they are doing everything they can to escalate the concerns.

Public health directors in Cheshire and Merseyside have also expressed deep concern about the lack of Covid-19 testing capacity and resources.

In a joint statement, they said: “We are deeply concerned that we do not have the essential tools to tackle an escalating pandemic and are alarmed that access to testing is limited in the sub-region.

Warrington Guardian:

"Some residents are being asked to travel to other parts of the country to get a Covid-19 test and not all symptomatic residents have access to a test.

“This poses a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of Cheshire and Merseyside residents.

"Public health directors know that there is a national problem with laboratory capacity and efforts will be made to correct this situation in the coming weeks. However, we would ask that action be taken immediately."

In response to questions about the increasing demand for tests, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that a "prioritization" phase is required.

An updated prioritization list shows who is at the top of the queue for tests

"We've seen a sharp increase in people signing up for a test, including those who aren't eligible," he said.

"As demand has increased, we need to re-prioritize and I am not afraid to make decisions about prioritization. They are not always convenient, but they are important."

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