Covid: Broxbourne to get door-to-door testing for South African variant

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Medical staff are seen testing people at a coronavirus test centre in the car park of a theme park in ChessingtonImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Residents are urged to get a test in the next two weeks - at a mobile testing centre, or at home

A town is to get door-to-door Covid testing after cases emerged of the South African variant.

Ten thousand adults in the EN10 postcode of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, are being urged to get a test, whether they have symptoms or not.

The director of public health said the aim was to test adults in the next two weeks and suppress the new variant.

From Thursday, all households will be provided with a testing kit by a public health or licensed officer with ID.

'Do not be alarmed'

Jim McManus, director of public health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "It is vitally important that we test as many adults in this local area, whether showing symptoms or not.

"Although this new variant of COVID-19 is thought to be more easily transmitted, there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it."

He said the small number of cases detected were picked up by routine surveillance testing.

Image caption,
The EN10 postcode covers the town of Broxbourne

Lewis Cocking, leader of Broxbourne Council, said he did not want people to be alarmed.

"It is an isolated case but I am urging all members of the public that live in the EN10 postcode area, who are not showing symptoms, to either book an appointment online or use a home testing kit," he added.

A leaflet is being delivered to homes in the EN10 area on Tuesday to remind residents that mobile testing is available at Broxbourne Lido and Wildlife Park, and home testing kits from Wormley Community Centre and Hoddesdon Library.

Cases of the variant have led to door-to-door testing being carried in Goldsworth Park and St Johns areas of Woking, Surrey, and nearby Egham later in the week.

People have also tested positive for the new variant in Ealing and Haringey in London, Walsall in the West Midlands and in Kent.

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