"Fantastic response" to surge testing in Norfolk as 5,000 come forward after one day

Surge testing in Diss, Norfolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than five thousand people in the parishes of Diss and Roydon have come forward to be tested after a few cases of South African variant of covid were detected there.

Brentwood in Essex will also be offered surge testing after a single case of the South African variant was discovered there too.

Additional testing is being deployed to the CM13 postcode. People living there are being "strongly encourage" to take a test whether or not they have any symptoms.

Fourteen days of precautionary testing began at three sites in Diss and Roydon on Friday 19th February with kits also being taken door to door. 

Norfolk County Councils says the response so far has been fantastic .

The response has been absolutely fantastic. I would like to thank all those people who have participated so far. This is a great start to our testing programme and goes a long way towards enabling us to identify if there is any wider spread of this variant.

Norfolk County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health Diane Steiner

A total of 10,000 people have been targeted for testing in the area, which has been available via three mobile testing units, home testing swabs available at two pick up sites, or testing kits delivered door-to-door for those unable to attend local sites.

  • 4,000 people collected testing swabs on the first day to use at home.

  • 1,000 people attended the three mobile testing sites.

  • There are no further home tests available from the pick up points due to high demand, but they remain open for dropping off tests.

We still have more than 10 days of testing left so I would encourage people to continue to keep up the great work. We have good capacity at our mobile testing sites, which are open seven days a week, so please do book a test at a convenient time for you

Norfolk County Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health Diane Steiner
Testing in Roydon, Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Anyone who has picked up a test today for home testing is reminded to ensure they return it to the drop off points within 24 hours of using it.

Tests can be dropped off at:

  • Midwich Ltd in Vince’s Road Diss, IP22 4YT

  • Outside Roydon White Hart/Roydon Church any time between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Sunday, with no appointment needed.

  • Please don’t use the post boxes at these sites.

The testing centres will be open over the next two weeks, with local businesses also being sent tests from Monday.  

  • Watch a short clip with Cllr Simon Olander, Leader of Diss Town Council.