Bristol Covid case rate going down as date to end surge testing set

Covid surge testing being carried out in Bristol. Credit: PA

The Mayor of Bristol has echoed comments from health bosses saying the Covid-19 situation in the city and South Gloucestershire is improving.

Surge testing was introduced into certain areas earlier this month while a new 'Bristol variant' of the coronavirus strain was declared.

On Wednesday 17 February, the council also introduced a drop-off service for people unable to get to mobile test centres or drop-in sites.

Case numbers in Bristol are continuing to fall, with the the latest rate for the past seven days sitting at 163 cases per 100,000 people. On January 1, the rate was 311 per 100,000 people.

However, Bristol's rate is still above the current England average of 148 per 100,000 people. 

Credit: ITV West Country

Hospital rates also continue to fall across Bristol. There are now 228 people in hospital who have recently tested positive for coronavirus. 

Across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, 190,981 people had been vaccinated as of 7 February.

The last date people will be able get a surge test in the city will be Sunday 21 February, a date set by central government and not Bristol City Council.

No further cases of the Bristol variant have been found so far, although it takes two weeks to do genomic sequencing on positive tests so there is a delay.

In the first week of surge testing, approximately 33,400 tests were performed, of which 14,700 were at mobile testing units, and 18,700 at collect and drop centres. 

There are still 10,000 missing home test kits. The last day to hand these in is 24 February and people are strongly urged to do so. 

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