Friday 24th April 2020
Newport's Rodney Parade is continuing to play a key role in the fight against coronavirus as Aneurin Bevan University Health Board extends the testing facility to include critical workers outside of the NHS.
The site sits alongside an expanding network of testing sites being set up around Wales and the UK and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers such as social care staff in local authorities, police and fire and rescue services.
The facility will provide thousands more swab tests - which are used to identify if you currently have the virus. This means those who test negative for coronavirus can return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.
Judith Paget, Chief Executive at the Health Board said: “We are working with Public Health Wales to increase our testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, to support our partners and ultimately save lives.
“We aim to end the uncertainty of whether the critical workers that are needed on the front line need to stay at home, meaning those who test negative will be able to return to work.
“We are proud to be working closely with our partners to roll out additional capacity to where it is needed. We extend a special thanks to the team at Rodney Parade who have gone above and beyond to accommodate everything that we need in these challenging times.”
Mark Jones, managing director at Dragons Rugby is delighted the club could play a vital role in supporting the NHS during the pandemic.
He said: "The health service and care workers are doing an incredible job in such difficult circumstances, so we are more than happy to assist by lending our site and providing stewarding and security teams to support the NHS in its crucial work.
"Playing our part in the local community is at the heart of what we're about at the Dragons. As well as the work that’s taking place Rodney Parade, our team and players have been making essential deliveries to the vulnerable people in our community.”
Gwent Police is one of the organisations whose employees are now being tested a Rodney Parade.
Glyn Fernquest, Superintendent for Gwent said: “This is a brilliant example of businesses turning their resources to creating and rolling out testing at scale to make sure that we have the teams that we need to support our communities.”
“This facility will help our valued front-line services to fight the virus and continue their valued work.”