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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

Door-to-door deliveries of home testing kits starting in Southport’s Cambridge & Dukes wards today

Photograph showing a Home Testing Kit being delivered to an addressin the Norwood ward area
A Home Testing Kit being delivered to an address in the Norwood ward area

Testing teams will start knocking on doors across Southport’s Cambridge and Dukes wards today to deliver COVID-19 home testing kits and, where possible, wait while they are completed.

Testing for the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus is being carried out in the town’s Dukes, Cambridge and Norwood wards after Sefton Council was notified of two, apparently unrelated historic cases in the area. The Council is urging everyone aged 16 or over within the target areas to get a test.

Anyone delivering or collecting home testing kits will be able to show clear identification and will not ask for any money or request anyone’s financial details. Neither will they enter people’s homes.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:

Mobile Testing Unit

Yesterday saw a new Mobile Testing Unit at Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre, which some refer to locally as the Floral Hall, in addition to the Mobile Unit at the Kew park-and-ride site in the Norwood ward. Open every day from 8am to 6.30pm, both Units are specifically for identifying cases of the variant.

People in Dukes, Cambridge and Norwood wards who don’t have the coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperature, new persistent cough or loss of taste or smell can use either of them. People are advised to arrive before 6pm to ensure they get tested.

Extension

Andrea Watts, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for People, who has been coordinating the testing arrangements said: “Thousands of local people living and working in the targeted areas of Southport have already taken a test and the extension of door to door deliveries of home testing kits today will make it easier for more people to help us identify and eliminate the variant.

“The extended door-to-door deliveries will start in the parts of the Cambridge and Dukes wards closes to the town centre but if people don’t want to wait, they can always go along to either of the Mobile Testing Units.

“They might even want to call in while out enjoying their daily exercise.”

Reminder

Since announcing it has been notified of the first local South African variant case, Sefton Council has been stressing that everyone across the Borough must still follow the national lockdown regulations to protect themselves and others.

Everyone should be staying at home 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 their daily exercise. And when out, it is important people ensure they are keeping to 2-metres’ distancing, wearing masks or face coverings and washing their hands thoroughly and frequently.

 

New Mobile Testing Unit open from today as part of Southport COVID variant testing programme

Photo showing a Mobile Test Unit in Southport
Members of staff in hi-viz at a dedicated Mobile Testing Unit in Southport

From today, people living and working in Southport’s Cambridge and Dukes & Norwood wards who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, can now get a test at the new Mobile Testing Unit at Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre.

Located on the town’s Promenade, at what some refer to locally as the Floral Hall, the new Mobile Testing Unit is now open every day, from 8am to 6.30pm. This is in addition to the Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site in the Norwood ward, which is also open 8am to 6.30pm, seven days a week.

Dedicated

People in Dukes, Cambridge and Norwood wards can use either of the dedicated Mobile Testing Units.

Sefton Council has set up both sites as part of the programme to detect the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus. The Council has been notified of two, apparently unrelated, historic cases of the variant.

Everyone aged 16 or over within the target areas is being urged to get a test.

Use either

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “People who live and work in the areas of Southport being targeted in the search for the South African variant can now use either of these dedicated Mobile Test Units, 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.”

Local people are being advised to arrive at the test centres by 6pm to ensure they can get tested. A team will also be visiting affected area’s four schools this week, before the half-term holiday.

Door-to-door

Door-to-door delivery and collection of home testing kits will start across parts of the Cambridge and Dukes closest to the town centre from Thursday (11th February). Where possible, those delivering home testing kits will wait while people test themselves and will then take away the completed swabs so they can be sent off for analysis.

Sefton Council has been reminding residents and business that anyone calling with one of these tests will carry clear identification. They will not ask for any money or request anyone’s financial details and neither will they enter people’s homes.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:

Reminder

The Council has also been reminding everyone across the Borough that they should still be following national lockdown regulations to protect themselves and others.

Mrs Jones added: “We should all be staying at home 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 their daily exercise.

“And while we’re out, we should be keeping to 2-metres’ distancing, wearing masks or face coverings and washing our hands frequently.

Details of planned, additional COVID variant testing for Southport’s Cambridge, Dukes & Norwood wards announced

Sign for the COVID-19 variant Mobile Testing Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site.
Sign for the COVID-19 variant Mobile Testing Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site.

Sefton Council has confirmed that from Wednesday 10th February an additional dedicated Mobile Testing Unit will open at Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre as part of the programme to detect the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Targeted testing to identify the variant is well underway in Southport’s Norwood ward where the first case was identified. Further testing will be starting in town centre areas of the Cambridge and Dukes wards, where the Council was notified of a second, apparently unrelated historic case.

Everyone aged 16 or over within the target areas are urged to get a test.

Door-to-door

Door-to-door delivery and collection of home testing kits will start being rolled out across the Cambridge and Dukes areas from Thursday 11th February.  In addition, a team will be visiting the four schools in the area affected before they break up for next week’s half-term holiday.

Opening hours for the Mobile Testing Unit at Theatre and Convention Centre on the town’s Promenade will initially be 8am to 6.30pm. The unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site in the Norwood ward is open 8am to 6.30pm. Both are open seven days a week and are specifically for people within the target areas who don’t have any coronavirus symptoms.

Teams visiting addresses within the target areas will deliver home testing and, where possible, will wait while people test themselves. Anyone calling with one of these tests will carry clear identification. They will not ask for any money or request anyone’s financial details and neither will they enter people’s homes.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:

Moved quickly

Andrea Watts, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for People, who has been coordinating the testing arrangements said: “Once again, since having been informed about the second, apparently unrelated case of the variant, we have moved quickly to put testing arrangements in place for the extended areas in Southport.

“I am pleased to confirm we will be getting underway tomorrow with the Mobile Testing Unit at the Theatre and Convention Centre or ‘Floral Hall’ as local people may know it and the door-to-door delivery of home testing kits to homes and businesses in the areas will start on Thursday.

“I would like to thank people living and working in the Norwood area for how enthusiastically they have reacted to the news about the South African variant and their willing participation in this important testing programme. I am confident that people in the two new wards identified will work with us just as positively.”

Reminder

The Council has been reminding people to protect themselves and others by sticking to the national lockdown regulations and staying home, both within the target areas for the South African variant and across the rest of the Borough.

People should 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 their daily exercise. Those in the variant testing areas could got for a test at a Mobile Unit as part of their daily walk.

While out, people should be keeping to 2-metres’ distancing, wearing a mask or face covering while out and washing their hands frequently.

Sefton Council is also encouraging anyone living or working in the Borough who is offered a COVID-19 vaccination to take up the opportunity and go along for their jab and benefit from the protection it will provide. And it is reminding people aged 70 and over that if they have not yet been vaccinated against Covid and want to be, they should contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

Expansion of COVID variant testing in part of Southport’s Cambridge & Dukes wards progressing

Photo showing dedicated Mobile Testing Unit at former Kew park-and-ride site
The dedicated Mobile Testing Unit at former Kew park-and-ride site

Preparations to expand ‘surge’ testing for the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus in Southport have continued over the weekend.

On Saturday, Sefton Council announced that the testing for the variant would also cover parts of the Cambridge and Dukes wards. Since then the Council has been making arrangements for further, dedicated Mobile Testing Units and the distribution of home testing kits across the affected area.

The Council is urging everyone aged 16 and over in the target areas to take the one-time test and if they test positive, to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus.

Hastily

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “After being advised a second, historic and unrelated case the South African variant had been found, we have been hastily pulling together plans to introduce testing arrangements for people living and working in the affected areas of the Cambridge and Dukes wards.

“Delivery of home testing kits is starting in the next few days, initially in town centre areas, and a site for a Mobile Testing Unit for people who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, is being finalised.”

Over the weekend, efforts continued in the Norwood ward, where thousands of people have now taken a home test or visited the Mobile Testing Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:

Sefton Council has been reminding people in the target areas for the South African variant that they need to continue protecting themselves and others by sticking to the national lockdown regulations and staying home.

Essential purposes

Mrs Jones said: “People should 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 their daily exercise.

“Those in the variant testing areas wanting to get tested at a Mobile Testing Unit may be able to call in during their daily walk.”

“When they are out, people should keep to 2-metres’ distancing, wear a mask or face covering while out and wash their hands frequently.”

At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that the South African variant is any more severe than others. However, questions have been raised about how effective the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is against it.

Vaccines

Responding to these comments, Mrs Jones said: “The vaccines being rolled out in the UK have been shown to work well against dominant variants so I would urge anyone who lives or works in the Borough who is offered a COVID-19 vaccination to take up the opportunity and go along for their jab and benefit from the protection it will provide.”

 

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