Additional surge testing and sequencing is being deployed in a number of locations, including the CR4 postcode around Pollards Hill, after surveillance of the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa could not be traced back to international travel.
All cases are now self-isolating and robust contact tracing has taken place to trace their contacts and ask them to self-isolate, but the government, in partnership with local authorities, are undertaking enhanced testing and sequencing and the government has encouraged every adult in the CR4 postcode to take a COVID test this week, whether they are showing symptoms or not. Mobile testing units (MTUs) will be deployed offering PCR testing to people without symptoms who have to leave their home for work or essential reasons, with local authorities encouraging people to get tested in the area by providing additional home test kits.
The government has said positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa, enabling a better understanding of the variant and identifying if there are any more cases of this particular strand of the virus in the area.
The full list of areas targeted are:
- East of England (EN10)
- London (W7, N17, CR4)
- North West (PR9)
- South East (ME15, GU21)
- West Midlands (WS2)
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is vital we do all we can to stop transmission of this variant and I strongly urge everyone in these areas to get tested, whether you have symptoms or not. The best way to stop the spread of the virus – including new variants – is to stay at home and follow the restrictions in place. Until more people are vaccinated this is the only way we will control the spread of the virus.”
You can book a test by following this link.