Surge testing: These are all the places in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford that you can book a PCR test
The government has officially launched its surge testing programme in the Wakefield district, and thousands of adults are being urged to book a PCR test, regardless of whether they have Covid symptoms.
Adults in five Wakefield district wards - Wakefield North, Wakefield South, Wakefield East, Pontefract North and Pontefract South - are now being encouraged to book PCR tests.
It comes amid rising rates of infection in the district, and concern about the Delta variant.
But what is a PCR test, and where can you get one?
What is a PCR test?
PCR tests are taken via a swab of the throat and nose with a long cotton bud. You can swab yourself, or someone can do it for you.
The swabbing process is similar to that required for lateral flow tests, which have been widely used for home testing.
But unlike lateral flow tests, PCR tests must be sent off for laboratory analysis before a result can be given. The results are considered far more reliable than those provided by home tests.
Usually, people are only able to book PCR tests if they are presenting with symptoms of Covid-19, or have been in contact with someone who's tested positive.
But while surge testing is in place, adults in certain areas of the Wakefield district are able to book PCR tests even without symptoms.
Where can I get a PCR test in Wakefield and Pontefract?
You can order a PCR test to be sent to your home or book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through site.
All appointments must be booked via the Government website.
In Wakefield, there are two permanent testing sites currently in place.
These are located at the former Castleford Swimming Baths on Aketon Road, Castleford, and the former Westgate Station Car Park, which is accessible off Westgate, Wakefield, opposite the Elephant & Castle pub.
These sites are open seven days a week, and are walk-up sites, meaning you can walk, cycle or drive to them and then walk through for your test.
There are also seven mobile testing units currently in use in the Wakefield district.
These units are frequently moved to different areas, and are used to tackle high case rates.
If a car is required to access a site, this will be made clear during the booking process, Wakefield Council said.
From today (Thursday, June 24), Wakefield's mobile testing units will be located at:
South Elmsall Market: 9am-3pm, Thursday 24 and Sunday 27 June
Grange Community Centre, Carlton: 9am – 3pm, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June
Wakefield Sports and Social Club: 9am-3pm, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June
Wakefield Trinity RLFC: 9am-3pm, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June
Hemsworth Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church - 9am – 3pm, Friday 25 June
Kings School, Pontefract – 9am-3pm, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June
Visit gov.uk to book a PCR test today.