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Changes to FAST testing

31 March 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates

This article was correct at the time of publishing. For the latest updates please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) pages.


Andrea Fallon. Find And Stop Transmission (FAST) testing launched across the borough in January 2021 and has seen over 35,000 tests take place so far.

Changes are being made to the opening times and the Heywood location. The new opening times start on Friday, 2 April 2021. The Heywood site has now moved to York House Surgery.

The latest sites and opening times are:

  • Rochdale – Nye Bevan House, Maclure Road, Rochdale, OL11 1DN – open 9am–5pm weekdays (10am–6pm on Fridays)
  • Heywood – York House Surgery, York Street, Heywood, OL10 4NN – open 9am–5pm weekdays (10am–6pm Mondays)
  • Middleton – Bowlee Sports Centre, Windermere Road, Middleton, M24 4LA – open 8am–4pm weekdays
  • Middleton – Alkrington Community Centre, Hardfield Road, Middleton M24 1TQ – open every Monday 11am–6pm (except Easter Monday)
  • Pennines – Hare Hill Bowling Club, Townhouse Road Littleborough, OL15 9BG – open 8am–4pm weekdays

All sites are open 9am–1pm at weekends and on bank holidays.

"The public response has been great. We're proud of our testing offer but it only works when people come forward to play their part"

Andrea Fallon, director of public health at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The public response has been great. We’re proud of our testing offer but it only works when people come forward to play their part. FAST testing is a really key way that we can help stop the spread of this deadly virus. One in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms. As parts of lockdown steadily ease it is so important to get into the habit of regular testing. We all have to take some responsibility to play our part in stopping the spread.”

"As parts of lockdown steadily ease it is so important to get into the habit of regular testing. We all have to take some responsibility to play our part in stopping the spread"

This FAST testing programme, which uses lateral flow tests, aims identify those who unknowingly have the virus as they have no symptoms – otherwise known as asymptomatic.

Anyone without symptoms can take up this offer, at least weekly, to protect themselves, their loved ones, and other residents.

Tests are free and there is no need to book, you can simply turn up to one of the sites across the borough.

FAST testing is also required for care home visiting. Nominated visitors require 2 FAST tests, of which one should be on the day of the visit and proof of the negative tests must be shown to the home prior to entry.

View more information about:

The test

Please ensure you follow the instructions carefully at all times. You will be guided to a booth to complete the test. If you have COVID-19 symptoms please do not attend. You should book a test through the NHS website or phoning 101.

You should wear a face covering at all times except when the test is taking place, unless you are exempt.

The test should not take any longer than a few minutes and is similar to a COVID-19 test for when you have symptoms.

Test results

Results are given by text or email around half an hour after your test.

If you test negative you must continue to follow all the guidelines in place. Please continue to get tested twice weekly.

If you test positive, you have a legal duty to self-isolate and book yourself a PCR test.

Support of up to £500 is available for those that have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service.