Enhanced Covid-testing measures to be introduced in north Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council is introducing additional testing measures in and around the Abbey and Wembrook wards in Nuneaton after a small number of cases of a variant of concern were identified in the area.
Public Health England identified the cases of the Indian variant in Abbey and Wembrook in central Nuneaton through the national programme of genetic sequencing. Detailed contact tracing is currently underway.
As well as the tracing and testing of close contacts, Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and a range of community partners are introducing a suite of additional measures. Although the number of cases is small, as the roadmap out of lockdown continues with the third stage of lifting restrictions due to begin today (Monday), these added measures will help to contain the transmission of the new variant.
From next week, there will be enhanced community testing in the Abbey and Wembrook wards which will take the following forms:
- Introducing two seven-day PCR testing sites with extended hours of operation at central locations.
- Community Collect and Drop will be introduced in Abbey and Wembrook wards later in the week, where residents can pick up and drop off tests at a number of community sites, the venues of which are to be confirmed over the course of the next week.
- Planning is afoot to deliver PCR testing kits to large businesses and schools. PCR tests allow the accurate identification of new variants.
- Door to door testing in the named areas will also be introduced over the course of the next week.
Testing will be made available to everybody aged two and above. People without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to isolate whilst they await their result (as long as nobody else in the household has symptoms)
In addition to the above, as a precautionary measure, the council is continuing to offer all residents (and anyone currently working) in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough a PCR test, even if they don't have symptoms. These should be booked online. Individuals without symptoms should continue to undertake twice weekly lateral flow testing (LFT/rapid tests) in addition to the PCR test, with home testing kits widely available.
Dr Shade Agboola, Director of Public Health Warwickshire, said: “It is important to remember that the number of cases of Covid-19 is still very low, and Warwickshire has, as it has throughout the pandemic, acted swiftly and decisively.
“However, as we continue along the roadmap out of lockdown, we need to remain vigilant, and the presence of these cases of the variant of concern clearly demonstrates that need.
“The situation is manageable because of our swift action, but we need residents to work with us and to take the PCR tests so that we can prevent any further transmission.
"Our additional measures are not intended to create undue anxiety, but we do need to take this action in and around the Abbey and Wembrook wards to protect the community and do all we can to eliminate transmissions as we move along the roadmap out of lockdown.
“We can also protect ourselves by keeping our distance, washing our hands, wearing face coverings in public places and taking up the opportunity to be vaccinated.”
For further information on enhanced testing visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/