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Additional surge testing deployed to control spread of covid-19 variant in Bordesley & Highgate

Published: Friday, 23rd April 2021

Further surge testing is now required within the Bordesley & Highgate ward after more cases of the COVID-19 variant first found in South Africa were discovered.

The council is working closely with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace to support measures to curb any potential spread of this variant; this will include significantly increasing the testing offer in a targeted and intelligence-led way

This targeted approach will contact certain households in the B5 postcode area in Birmingham.

You can see if you need a test using the postcode checker.

Residents over the age of 16 who are living or working Bordesley & Highgate ward are strongly encouraged to take part in the door to door testing when offered, even if they are not showing symptoms.

Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space-fresh air and following national guidance, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus, while enabling a better understanding of the variant.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor for NHS Test and Trace said: “As part of our proactive sequencing work, we have identified cases of a COVID-19 variants in a number of areas across England. A small proportion of these cases have no link to international travel suggesting that there are some cases in the community.

"PHE and NHS Test and Trace are monitoring the situation closely and appropriate public health measures such as increased testing and contact tracing are being put in place where necessary.”

Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health for Birmingham City Council, said:

“Testing is an important part of containing the spread of the virus. This new variant from South Africa presents a new risk so it is essential that all adults in the affected areas takes up this offer of PCR testing to help us contain the spread quickly and identify any further local cases.

“No connection have been identified between the cases in the different part of the city and no evidence yet of spread in the local community, but this is why the testing is so important.”

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