Surge testing will be taking place in Northwich and Winsford in response to the increase in positive cases of the Delta (B1.617.2) COVID-19 variant in the areas.
NHS Test and Trace will commence testing and genomic sequencing known as ‘Surge Testing’ from Thursday, 10 June. This will support the measures already put in place by the Council.
All adults living or working in Northwich and Winsford are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not and whether they have had the COVID-19 vaccine or not.
Although residents without symptoms should still be using LFT testing kits twice a week, PCR tests have a higher accuracy rate. Positive results are sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, and so help identify COVID-19 cases with a Variant Of Concern (VOC) and then prevent their spread.
Surge testing also brings enhanced contact tracing and wastewater analysis.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a VOC. This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.
Wastewater analysis can monitor the health status of an entire community.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a free test online or by phone. They can then go to a testing site or have a kit sent to their home.
All adult residents in Northwich and Winsford should book in for a PCR test at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and selecting ‘My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms‘, or by calling 119.
Residents are reminded that they should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow tests (LFTs), alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.
There are a number of venues at which a PCR test appointment can be booked including at the Local Testing Site at The Old Depot, in Leicester Street, in Northwich, or at a Mobile Testing Unit currently located at Cumberland car park, in Leicester Street, Northwich.
In Winsford tests can be booked for the Local Testing Site in Queensway, in Winsford, or at the Mobile Testing Unit in the car park at Winsford Academy.
PCR test kit collection is also available from a pop-up test collection site at Road Three, in Winsford, on Thursday 10 June and Friday 11 June between 9am and 4.30pm. No appointment is necessary at this site. No-symptoms LFT home test kits can also be collected at the same time.
Members of the public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 can call into the site and collect a PCR test which they can either take themselves on site or take home and return the next day. These test kits MUST be returned to this site for processing as they cannot return them to another testing site or post them. (This is because the tests are being processed as part of our surge testing response and will be prioritised through a different testing stream.)
Residents are also reminded of the importance of undertaking LFTs twice weekly and are being encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
There are many places and ways in which LFT tests can be obtained
LFT test kits and walk-in tests are available at The Dingle Centre, in Winsford and test kits can also be collected from Northwich Library and at participating pharmacies
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said:
“We all play our part in beating this horrible virus and so I would urge every adult resident in Northwich and Winsford to get a PCR test. It is easy and it is quick. Keep home testing with the LFT kits twice a week too and of course get a vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
By us all working together and by observing the basic rules, Hands, Face, Space and fresh air we can stop and control the spread’