Surge testing to be deployed to control spread of Covid-19 variant in two areas within Reigate & Banstead - details on how to get a test here

Extensive surveillance of Covid-19 has identified that case rates in the borough of Reigate & Banstead have been increasing for the past few weeks.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:28 pm

This is especially evident in the younger age groups, including secondary school age children. In addition to this, an increasing number of these are the Delta variant, which not only is more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain but may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation nationally, for those who have not been fully vaccinated.

Visit the postcode checker for quick reference to see affected areas: www.surreycc.gov.uk/surgetesting

In response to this, working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, Surrey County Council and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council will stand up additional mass testing in the two affected areas.

Coronavirus

Anyone without symptoms who lives, works or studies in these areas is strongly encouraged to take a PCR Covid-19 test this week. This includes adults and children. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should not take part in the surge testing, but should instead book a PCR test via 119, NHS.UK or the NHS Covid-19 app.

Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and following national guidance, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus.

Positive tests with a high enough viral load will be sequenced enabling a better understanding of the variant(s) and the potential spread.

Four mobile testing units specifically for this additional testing will be positioned across the borough.

Cllr Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, explained: “The ask is two pronged – we are asking everyone who lives, works or studies in the affected areas to get a PCR test, but also to ensure they get vaccinated as soon they are offered – both their first and second doses. We know that two doses offer much more protection.

“While overall case rates are nowhere near the rates we saw at the beginning of the year, they are rising. We are taking this proactive approach to reduce the spread so that we can all continue to enjoy our returned freedoms. Please play your part.”

Details of where and how to get a test

Testing units will be positioned in the following locations from Friday 18 June to Sunday 27 June.

- Tadworth Leisure Centre, Preston Manor Road, Tadworth KT20 5FB

- Banstead High Street car park, 58-60 High Street, Banstead SM7 2LX

- The Mound car park, Royal Drive, Tattenham Corner KT18 5QB

- Reigate Town Hall, Castlefield Road, Reigate RH2 0SH

Units will be open:

- Friday 18 June - 10am to 8pm

- Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June - 8am to 6pm

- Monday 21 June to Wednesday 23 June - 10am to 8pm

- Thursday 24 June to Sunday 27 June - 9am to 5pm

Please note:

- The units are not bookable; people should turn up when they can

- We anticipate they will be busier outside working hours, during lunch times and after school drop offs, so we ask that anyone who can avoid the busy times does so

- Results will be sent to individuals directly, usually within 48 hours

- Individuals are not required to isolate while waiting for the results, only if you receive a positive test

Anyone who tests positive, must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health, Surrey County Council said, “We’ve been seeing rates rising in Reigate and Banstead for some weeks, and we now have evidence of community transmission of the Delta variant. Surge testing in the affected areas is the best way we have of identifying cases and making sure anyone who tests positive isolates, in order to prevent further spread of the variant.

“We know that the Delta variant is more transmissible, so it’s even more important for people to follow the guidance at this time – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.

“From Friday 18 June, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for the vaccine, so please make sure you book in for your jab, and get both doses, to protect yourself and everyone around you.”

For more information, please visit www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/surgetesting