Covid in Wakefield: Government confirms surge testing to be deployed in Wakefield and Pontefract among rise in Delta cases

The government has confirmed plans to deploy surge testing in Wakefield, amid a rise in cases of the Delta variant.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 11:02 am

Working with Wakefield Council, NHS Test and Trace will deploy additional testing in five areas of the district from tomorrow (Thursday, June 24).

These are the wards of Wakefield North, Wakefield South, Wakefield East, Pontefract North and Pontefract South.

All adults aged 18 and over in the affected areas are now being urged to take a PCR test, whether they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or not.

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The government has confirmed plans to deploy surge testing in Wakefield, amid a rise in cases of the Delta variant. Pictured is a testing site in Wakefield earlier this year.

This will include door-to-door testing in some areas.

In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said it followed "the identification of a small number of confirmed cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

"All the confirmed cases have been instructed to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified."

The Delta variant is more transmissible than previous variants of the virus, and has been linked to rising case rates across the country.

PCR test can be taken at home, but must be sent to a laboratory for results, and are considered more accurate than the lateral flow tests, which are frequently taken at home.

According to the latest data from Public Health England, more than 400 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the Wakefield district, accounting for almost two-thirds of all new cases since the start of the month.

These figures are updated weekly, and were last released on Friday, June 18.

Wakefield Council has previously backed calls for people to book Covid tests, and confirmed that additional testing facilities will be open across the district this week.

In a statement on its website, the council said: "We are urging everyone in the district to get a Covid-19 test, in order to lower infection rates across Wakefield and ensure remaining lockdown restrictions can be lifted on 19 July.

"Additionally, community door-knocking and ‘drop-in’ testing centres will be happening in areas experiencing the highest number of case rates, including the new COVID-19 delta variant."

Click here to see the full list of mobile testing units currently in operation in the district.

A spokesperson for DHSC said: "Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern (VOC). This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.

"By using PCR testing, positive results are sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify COVID-19 cases with a VOC and then prevent their spread.

"If you have symptoms you should book a free test online or by phone. You can then go to a testing site or have a kit sent to your home. If you have no symptoms, you should visit your local authority’s website for more information.

"People in this area should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow devices, alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing."

Surge testing had previously been deployed in Kirklees, and is also in use in Leeds.