Sat, 13 Feb 2021
Surge testing is to be carried out in Bramley next week after a single strain of the South African variant of Covid-19 was detected.
The local testing initiative will involve all residents over the age of 16 in the identified area, which so far has been listed as specific areas of RG26 in Hampshire, being asked to undertake a Covid-19 test.
Hampshire County Council said that details of the testing would be published on its website early next week.
Residents will be able to use a postcode checker to identify whether or not they will be provided with a test.
Hampshire County Council director of public health Simon Bryant said: “I appreciate that this news may be worrying for the local community, but it’s really important to understand that the risk of transmission from this single case is considered to be very low, helped by the fact that national restrictions are in place with most people staying at home and adhering to the Government guidance of ‘hands-face-space.’
"Furthermore, there is no evidence that this particular variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccines do not protect against it."
“Following confirmation of the case and in line with Government guidelines, the county council has begun work with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Public Health England, our local NHS, as well as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), to arrange a localised ‘surge testing’ programme in the area. This is due to begin next week.
“The rapid local testing programme is primarily a precautionary measure designed to help the Government to better understand and prevent the spread of new variants across the country.”
The South Africa variant contains a mutation of the virus. It is not believed to be more deadly than the initial strain, but spreads more quickly than the initial strain.
The council said that advice for all residents remained the same regardless to the local testing initiative or not – stay at home, essential travel only, hands-face-space.