A NEW walk-in coronavirus test site is due to be set up in Kidderminster as the country’s testing regime continues to struggle with a surge in demand.

People trying to book coronavirus tests in Wyre Forest have been told to travel as far as Aberdeen to access their nearest test site, while others attempting to book through the government’s online portal have been told to “try again in a few hours”.

Verity Worthington, a teacher from Kidderminster, was instructed to travel to a testing centre 50 miles away after her five-year-old son developed a cough and high temperature.

She said: “Trying to book him a test within 50 miles is impossible, and as a teacher myself I need to be at work.

“The current demand for tests should have been predicted with schools re-opening. It’s a complete nightmare for so many parents and spending the day refreshing a website isn’t ideal.”

Kidderminster resident Becky Marden was unable to order a home testing kit when her seven-year-old daughter Alexe came down with a temperature of 38°C on Saturday.

She told The Shuttle: “I tried to claim for a home testing kit and I got all the way through to the last page on the website and it told me there were no more available.

"I don’t drive and the government tells you not to go on public transport if you have symptoms, but the closest test centre is in Worcester so I wouldn’t have been able to get there anyway.

"Thankfully, her school had a test and was able to drop it round to us and it’s since come back negative. Otherwise I don't think I would have been able to get one."

Other residents reported being told to travel as far as Leicester, Aberdeen and Inverness to access an available test site.

Worcestershire County Council said a key problem was the number of people booking tests despite not having symptoms.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said: “Testing is available to anyone who has a symptom of Covid-19. It is not a just in case facility.

"The tests will identify if a person has Covid at the time of testing, and should only be given to people who are showing symptoms of the virus.”

The council admitted the lower rate of testing is also impacting the published daily figures for coronavirus cases in the county.

The latest figures, which cover the period from September 6 to September 12, show there were nine more confirmed cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Wyre Forest compared to the previous week, however the county council said the low numbers in Worcestershire are not a true reflection of the current situation as not all residents with symptoms are being tested.

Public Health teams are now working on plans for four new test sites in Worcestershire, including a walk-in centre in Kidderminster.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: “Alongside the drive in testing site at Worcester Warriors, Worcestershire County Council Public Health teams are working on plans for four new test sites that will be accessible on foot - one at the University of Worcester, one in Bromsgrove, one in Kidderminster and one in Redditch.

“These are to provide easier access for community members who may not drive, or need more local access for example."

The exact location of the new Kidderminster testing site has not yet been revealed.

The centres are expected to take between three to four weeks to set up. People will then need to book in advance to access the centres by calling 119.