Enhanced testing to be deployed in Hemsby, Ormesby, Somerton and Winterton in East Norfolk
Young people and adults living and working in designated coastal parishes in the east of Norfolk are being asked to get tested from Thursday, 22 July after a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
Everyone aged 16 or over is being strongly encouraged to participate in enhanced testing in the parishes of Hemsby, Ormesby, Somerton, and Winterton.
The aim is to identify cases which might not otherwise be found to help stop the spread of the virus in these communities.
The latest verified figures show that for the week ending 14 July there were 222.5 cases per 100,000 in Norfolk compared to 324.8 per 100,000 in the East of England and 426.1 per 100,000 in England. In the Great Yarmouth Borough Council area this was 459 per 100,000 compared to 175.2 per 100,000 in the previous week representing a 162% increase. A large number of these cases were in the parishes identified for testing.
Norfolk County Council's Public Health is working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and NHS Test and Trace to deploy the testing from Thursday 22 July. It is for people with no symptoms of Covid-19 and is necessary even if you have been fully vaccinated.
Anyone who does have symptoms of Covid-19 should book a PCR test by calling 119 or booking online at www.gov.uk/book-coronavirus-test.
Anyone who tests positive, must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.
Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) will be deployed offering PCR testing, with home test kits delivered to those who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Letters with details of the testing being made available are being sent to all households in these parishes. The testing is being aimed at those people living and working in the area rather than visitors or tourists.
Testing will, in combination with other precautions, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus while enabling a better understanding of how it is spreading.
How to access a test
Everyone aged 16 and over without any symptoms of Covid 19 who lives or works in the parishes of Hemsby, Ormesby, Somerton and Winterton should get tested in one of the following ways:
Mobile testing unit
There is no need to book, just drop in at:
- Hemsby Sports and Social Club car park, daily from Thursday 22 July to Wednesday 28 July between 12noon and 6.30pm - you can walk in or drive through
- Ormesby Village Centre car park, daily from Thursday 22 July between 8am and 5pm - walk through
- Winterton Village Hall car park, daily from Thursday 22 July between 8am and 5pm - walk through
Door to door testing
Tests will be dropped off to the door of anyone identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable, they should not go out just to access a test if they don't have any symptoms. Anyone who needs support to carry out the test can call 0808 1962238. These drop-off tests will be lateral flow devices (LFD). Anyone who tests positive should call 0808 1962238 for a follow up PCR test to confirm that they are positive for COVID 19.
To protect residents from the risk of scams, officers and volunteers will wear a high visibility jacket, PPE and visible identification. No one will be asked for any payment of any kind or any bank details. If in any doubt, residents are advised to ask the caller for identification or call 0808 1962238.
Pick up test kits to use at home
Kits for home use can be picked up from a local library, pharmacy or one of the MTU sites. Exact locations of libraries and pharmacies can be found on the NHS Maps test and trace page. Anyone using these tests must register the results of the test either online or by calling 119.
Diane Steiner, Norfolk's Deputy Director of Public Health, said: "We know cases are generally rising across the whole of the UK and we know we have much better levels of protection than ever thanks to the success of the vaccination programme.
"But not everyone has been vaccinated and even with a double jab, it is still possible to contract the virus. And we are seeing a rise in the number of people requiring hospital treatment across the county.
"We're doing this enhanced testing to identify cases we might not otherwise find to help reduce the spread of the virus. We know one in three people who have Covid-19 don't have any symptoms, so may not know they have the virus and could pass it on. I would urge everyone who is eligible to take the tests offered.
"While enjoying fewer restrictions, I would still strongly recommend people take precautions to keep themselves and others safe and well including getting vaccinated, washing hands, carrying on wearing face coverings in indoor public places, meeting outside where possible and keeping places well ventilated."
Cllr Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "As most legal restrictions have now been lifted, it's more important than ever that we all continue to play our part to keep each other safe.
"The enhanced testing in Ormesby and Hemsby will help to prevent the spread of infection, helping to protect our loved ones, friends, workmates, visitors and customers.