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Testing for South African variant in Southport now complete

The surge testing operation to understand the spread of a South African variant of Covid-19 in Southport has now been completed.  Door to door testing in Dukes and Cambridge wards was paused over the weekend, and today (Monday 22/02/21) Sefton Council have received confirmation that no further testing will be carried out at the mobile testing unit at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre after it closes tonight at 6.30pm.

The number of tests from the mobile unit and the home testing combined mean that sufficient testing has taken place in this area.

Map of Test Area

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 89% of the tests delivered have been completed and collected.

Sefton’s Executive Director, Andrea Watts, said

“Our teams have visited over 17,000 addresses in the last 3 weeks delivering home testing kits; 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.

“Positive COVID-19 tests from our targeted testing 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.

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

Although the targeted testing in Southport is complete, residents can still have a Covid-19 test 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.