Extra testing available in Peterborough as ‘small number’ of Indian variant COVID cases found in city

Extra COVID testing is being offered in Peterborough after a small number of ‘Indian Variant’ cases were dicscovered in the city.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 12:23 pm

Residents without symptoms of Covid-19 are being offered the chance to get a PCR test at sites across Peterborough this week to help identify variant cases of the virus early and reduce any spread.

Although the number of identified cases of the Indian variant strain of Covid-19 are low in Peterborough, the city council wants to be proactive in its search for them so that transmission can be reduced.

The testing is different to the rapid tests which people are being asked to complete twice a week as part of their normal life, as PCR tests are processed at a laboratory where the virus can be examined to determine whether it is the new variant of Covid-19.

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The testing van in Cathedral Square

This proactive testing as a precaution will help the city council to understand how common new variant strains of the virus might be in the city and to avoid the transmission levels being seen in other parts of the country.

People without symptoms can access the tests, without a booking, at the following locations:

Wednesday 26 May – Testing vehicle at Cathedral Square in the city centre, 10am to 5pm.

Thursday 27 May - St Andrew’s Church, Netherton, 9am to 5pm.

Friday 28 May – Testing vehicle at Husaini Islamic Centre, Burton Street, 10am to 5pm.

People will also be able to collect rapid testing kits to complete at home from the sites.

Emmeline Watkins, Acting Director of Public Health for Peterborough, said: “We have only identified a few cases of the new Covid-19 variant in Peterborough. This suggests that we don’t currently have the wide-spread transmission of this variant that is being seen in neighbouring areas such as Bedford and Leicester.

“We are increasing our PCR testing of people without symptoms, to help identify cases of the new variant, to support those people to self-isolate and to act early to stop any spread. This is a case of us being proactive, so that we can get on top of any problem before it spirals out of control.

“We are encouraging people without any symptoms to take a test at one of the sites we have organised this week. It’s also really important that people continue to take their two rapid tests each week and accept their vaccine when they are offered one – both doses are important. If we can do all of these, we should be able to get back to a more normal way of life much quicker.”

This PCR testing is for people without symptoms of Covid-19. Those with symptoms should book a test using the booking site at www.gov.uk-get-coronavirus-test

For more information visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/coronavirus

Peterborough’s COVID case rate (for all variants) is currently 29.2 cases per 100,000 people, just above the UK rate.