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Surge Testing in Norwood Ward is now complete

The surge testing operation to understand the spread of a South African variant of Covid-19 in Norwood Ward, Southport has now been completed.

Testing continues in Dukes and Cambridge wards.

Door to door delivery of home testing kits has stopped, and the Mobile Test Unit at the former Kew Park and Ride will close at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 17.

Initial numbers from the operation, which is aimed at understanding any community spread of a variant of COVID-19 known as SARS-CoV-2 (or VOC-202012/02) which originated in South Africa, show around 90% of the tests delivered have been completed and collected.

Any residents whose kits may have been missed for collection are asked to phone Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845, leaving their name and address, and the Council will arrange for the test kits to be collected.

Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones, said “Our teams have visited just shy of 7,000 addresses in the last 2 weeks; which has been no mean feat.

“The residents in the areas tested rightly deserve a huge thank you for being so willing to support us in this important task and help Government scientists learn more about this disease.

“All positive COVID-19 tests from our targeted testing in Norwood Ward will be sent for genomic sequencing.

“This will help us to understand the spread of COVID-19 variants locally.”

“The community have been magnificent with people being so supportive on the doorstep and wanting to do whatever they can to help our efforts.

“Over the last few days in wind, rain and snow a dedicated group of Council staff, other agencies and volunteers have pulled out all the stops to make this operation a reality and I cannot thank each and every one of them enough.”

Although the targeted testing in Norwood is complete, residents can still have a Covid-19 test done at Splashworld (if no symptoms) or can book a test at Southport Town Hall if they do have symptoms. Alternatively, they can call 119 and request for a home testing kit to be delivered.

Residents in Cambridge and Dukes wards who are aged 16 or over, should still go and have a test done at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre mobile test unit on the Promenade, or can wait for our team to visit them with a home testing kit.

To help stop the spread of the virus and its variants, aside from getting a test, residents should be staying at home as much as possible and only be going out for essential purposes; such as shopping for essential supplies, going to work if we can’t do so from home, providing care and daily exercise.

Margaret Jones continued: “Everyone in all of our communities should continue to follow the national lockdown restrictions in order to protect our most vulnerable.

“There are no additional restrictions in place for those areas where surge testing is still being carried out, but we do encourage residents of those areas take extra care and try to limit their time away from home.

“People who live and work in these surge areas can use the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre mobile test unit on the Promenade, as long as they don’t have coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell.

“It doesn’t take long to get a test and some people may want to call in for theirs while they are out taking their daily exercise.”

Testing runs from 8am-6.30pm however it is recommended to arrive by 6pm to ensure you are tested, there is no need to book in advance