Covid-19: Surge testing begins in Leeds after possible cases of South African strain

Thousands of people living in an area of Leeds are being urged to take a coronavirus test from today after two potential cases of the South African variant were detected.

Doctors say the strain may be more resistant to vaccines, but there is no evidence it has been passed on in Leeds. People living and working in the LS8 area, including parts of Harehills and the area just north of Easterly Road, will be encouraged to take a test which will help scientists build a better picture of how different strains of the virus could be transmitted.

Covid Surge Testing Credit: PA

The week-long programme will see people who do not have any symptoms of Covid-19 invited to take a test either at home or at the Infinity Centre, Conway Road, Harehills, as well as taking part in enhanced contact tracing.

Tests at the Infinity Centre will be conducted between 10am and 3.30pm from Monday 22 February until Sunday the 28th. Volunteers will also be going door-to-door to help as many people get a test as possible.

Who should get tested?

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group is recommending anyone over the age of 16 living in one of the following postcodes to get a test:

  • LS7 1

  • LS8 1

  • LS8 2

  • LS8 3

  • LS8 4

  • LS8 5

  • LS9 7

If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you do not need to be tested.

What happens after your test?

If you test positive, your test will be sent to a laboratory for genomic sequencing.

Credit: PA

You must isolate with your household. Public Health England will carry out enhanced tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases of the variant.

The NHS says there is currently no evidence that variants cause more severe illness.

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