Bristol Covid Mutation - two more mobile testing sites open

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There are now 21 cases of the Bristol Covid Mutation nationwide.

Two more mobile testing sites were opened today (Wednesday 10 February) as health officials try to track its spread.

Residents and anyone who works in the surge test postcodes is now being encouraged to get tested. Yate Common and the Imperial Sports Ground in Brislington are the two newest additions to the City’s mobile testing units. 

There are now five test centres in total in Bristol and South Gloucestershire and a further nine libraries offering collect and drop off services for home tests. 

Despite Covid rates in both areas continuing to drop, confirmed cases of the mutation have almost doubled to 21. 

In a bid to control to spread of the virus, the government have announced that anyone working in the area, and those who have formed a support bubble with someone living in the surge postcodes are also eligible for testing. 

Imperial Sports Ground, Bristol Credit: ITV West Country

Although the PCR tests are not compulsory, both Bristol and South Gloucestershire council are strongly encouraging those eligible to have one. 

Yesterday the government declared the mutation “a variant of concern”. 

There are still many aspects of the unknown when it comes to the Bristol Covid mutation. Health officials do not yet know whether reinfection is more likely, or how much more transmissible it is. 

Doctor Lauren Cowley, a Genomic Epidemiologist at the University of Bath said “the particular reason why this is a variant of concern is because the genome sequencing has indicated that there is a change in that spoke protein that is associated with your immune response.

“It could also mean the vaccines don't work so well on the Bristolvariant, though government scientists say they have a high degree of confidencethat the vaccines will work be effective.

"We've had a really busy evening in there today. Lots of cases ofCovid and lots of other conditions as well."All mobile sites offer both walk-in and drive-through testing and do not require an appointment. 

Health Officials are unwilling to share where the current Bristol variant cases are or whether they are spreading to new areas. 

Where to get a test?

The mobile test sites are open Monday to Sunday from 9am to 6pmat:

  • Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR

  • Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA

  • Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ

  • The Imperial Sports Ground, West Town Lane, BS14 9EA

  • Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8RZ