No signs to South Holland's Covid testing centre in Pinchbeck due to Duke of Edinburgh's death say public health officials
More people would use a new Covid testing site - and help bring down the district’s high rates - if they knew where it was, says a business owner.
Graham Brown said he was just the third person to attend the asymptomatic test site at Four Seasons House in Pinchbeck on Monday - five hours after it opened for the day.
He wants Lincolnshire County Council to advertise the Enterprise Way centre by placing direction signs in Pinchbeck Road and Wardentree Lane.
The testing centre is part of the Government’s push to get everyone in the country to take two free tests a week to prevent future outbreaks. It’s seen as especially important given one in three people with coronavirus does not display symptoms.
A total of 61 positive tests were recorded in South Holland between April 6 and 12, which places the rate at 72.6 per 100,000. The national rate at time of writing was 28.7.
Mr Brown, who runs nearby business Phoenix Drivers, said: “Lincolnshire County Council should put the signs outside the building and on the roundabout near Morrisons and at Pinchbeck Road.
“If I wasn’t in the building next to the centre, I would not know it was there.
“I was the third person on Monday in five hours. I got there at 1pm and they had been open from 8am.”
Mr Brown is encouraging as many people as possible to take the chance to collect packs from the site.
Mr Brown said: “If you have five to six people go in there from the same household or work place you can identify before it takes off. Promoting this site should be a top priority.”
Coun Liz Sneath, who represents Pinchbeck on Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council, says signage is now being planned.
She said: “It is disappointing that this wasn’t their first thought. If you are setting something like this up then informative signage is vital.
“There are so many people who work around there they could bike by if they knew what was going on.”
County acting head of service for health protection Natalie Liddle said: “Due to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing on Friday, all government communications were suspended over the weekend as a mark of respect in light of the national mourning.
“This may have attributed to low numbers as we didn’t proactively promote the site to the public through our normal channels as we would normally do.
“Now we can get back on track to promote the site so that uptake of testing can increase. Signage concerns have been raised and additional signage to the entrance of the site will be put in place shortly.”
People with symptoms or who have a negative lateral flow test could still be sent for a PCR test at the mobile unit at the Fun Farm in Weston.