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The Tower Hamlets Council Mobile Testing Unit, with its four staff, out by St John's Park, E14, on 2nd February.

The Council’s fighting Covid – one test at a time

HOW MANY Tower Hamlets Council staff does it take to change a light bulb? Our guess is that no one knows (the search facility on the Council website returned 2,369 results to this question, but they didn’t seem to have the answer).

What we do know is how many staff it takes to run a Covid Mobile Testing Centre: four – but that was discovered after an in-depth independent investigation and a computation conducted, literally, on the fingers of one hand.

The “Covid Testing” page on Tower Hamlets Council’s website advises that “rapid tests (lateral flow tests) should be taken regularly which can identify those carrying the virus but not showing symptoms.”

Later down the page comes the question “Where can I get a lateral flow test?” and the answer.
We now have only one rapid testing site in Tower Hamlets, which is in Unit 160, Cabot Mall (West), Canary Wharf, E14 4QT. Let’s hope the honest workers in Canary Wharf are not disturbed by too may locals wandering round looking for Unit 160 amid Canary Wharf’s challenging layout.
However, we do have mobile testing units which “change location daily”, which seems reasonable for a mobile unit. The web page goes on to provide an itinerary, showing three or four sites per day where you can find a mobile unit.

What is not give is any explanation of why you might want to find a mobile unit.  Some months ago, the mobile units were handing out packs of lateral flow tests for residents to take home and use. Now they do not – according to the four staff in charge of the mobile gazebo outside St John’s Park on 2nd February.. All they can offer is to help you do a single, on-the-spot LFT in their little gazebo. If you want to collect an LFT, you have to go to an Idea Store – which could be at quite some distance from the mobile gazebo.

Two matters arise.

First, if you are going to need to do a lateral flow test, make sure your need arises on the day when the mobile unit is in a location near you.

Second, even better: go to your Idea Store and pick up a box of tests, and then you’ll have them ready at home for whenever you need one.  That may diminish the number of residents using the mobile unit – but console yourself with the thought that the Council is fighting Covid, one test at a time.

Read the Tower Hamlets Council’s “Covid Testing” page:
Covid Testing

●Read more stories about the Coronavirus/COVID-19:

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