COVID-19 “Kent” Variant: Urgent testing programme starts in part of our neighbourhood

Public Health England have found a small number of cases of the COVID-19 variant first found in Kent in parts of Manchester. Extra testing is being set up to investigate whether the strain has spread further in Manchester.

Public Health England have started urgent testing of everyone over 16 years who live within a specific boundary to help detect cases of one of the new variant strains of COVID-19. The boundary test area is to the immediate North and East of Alexandra Park.

Postcode list and map of testing area

Manchester City Council – COVID-19 Testing

What does this mean for us?

The most important message is that we should all continue to follow the national lockdown rules and only go out of the house for permitted reasons. We should continue to wash our hands regularly, wear a face covering, and observe social distancing outside of our household.

If you live inside the urgent testing area, please help PHE track new variant cases by going for a test.

If you do not live inside the exact urgent testing area, please help by continuing to observe careful lockdown measures and not contacting the surgery about this: there is nothing more you need to do!

How to get a test?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms you should book a test as before on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on the NHS website, via the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119 and start self-isolating.

If you do live in this specific boundary area but don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, you are now encouraged to go for a test at one of the new mobile testing centres in the area (see links above). For people who are unable to attend a test site, home test kits will be offered.

If you have tested positive using a PCR test, which is when a sample is sent to a lab for the results to be analysed, in the last 90 days, you do not need to take another test.

If you’ve already had the vaccine, please also still take a test. The vaccine will prevent you getting seriously ill, but it’s not clear if it stops the transmission of the virus. That means you could still pass it on.

Do I need to self-isolate?

If you do not have symptoms but have had a test as part of this urgent testing operation, you don’t need to isolate while you wait for your result.

If you test positive, have any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days immediately.

Information is evolving quickly – for the latest on this urgent testing programme please see the Manchester City Council website above.