Thousands tested in South Bucks after variant discovered

05:53PM, Tuesday 02 March 2021

COVID-19 case confirmed at Beechwood School

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More than 4,000 home testing COVID kits have been sent to people living in Wooburn Green and Flackwell Heath after the detection of the South African virus variant in the area.

Surge testing has been carried out in the two locations following the discovery of the variant last week. 

Working with NHS Test and Trace, Buckinghamshire Council said that it has, over the last six days, delivered 1,704 home testing kits to 1,094 households in Flackwell Heath.

Of these, 96 per cent have now been sent off for testing. 

In Wooburn Green, 2,950 tests were delivered to 2,527 homes, of which 95 per cent have been sent. 

More than 1,428 people were tested at a mobile testing unit in Wooburn Green, the local authority added. 

All positive tests from the targeted area will be sent for 'genomic sequencing' to help understand the local spread of COVID variants, director of public health for Bucks, Dr Jane O'Grady, said. 

Dr O'Grady added: "People who test positive will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace in the normal way.

"Anyone with a positive test must self-isolate for 10 days following their notification.

"All the tests that are positive will undergo genomic sequencing. Only people with the South African variant or any other specific variants of concern will be contacted.

"The health protection team from Public Health England will contact these people directly to ask for more information to help enhanced contact tracing.

"At the moment, genomic sequencing is taking a few weeks so people will not hear until after that."

Cllr Gareth Williams, Bucks Council's cabinet member for communities and public health, said: “I would like to thank the residents of Wooburn Green and Flackwell Heath for their support over the last six days and to everyone who has come forward to get tested.

"It was a huge effort by both local people and the team of volunteers who have been in the area to help get the testing done.”


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