Home testing roll out under way for South African Covid-19 strain

Last night’s (Wednesday 3rd February) online Council webinar about testing for the South African Covid-19 variant provided some helpful information:

The one case of the South African variant in Hanwell was discovered through the routine testing of a randomly chosen 5% of Covid-19 test results

To find out if this variant has spread in the local community the method used is to test 10,000 people in the immediately adjacent postal areas to where the individual lives – in this case some W7 and W13 post code area. Testing 10,000 people gives a statistically significant number to assess what if any community transmission has occurred.

The testing is all about helping understand the possible spread of the variant and is a precautionary measure.

The need to take 10,000 tests explains why some streets are half in and half out of the testing area. It’s about getting the 10,000 tests and not about testing every home in a particular street.

The home test teams began visiting homes on Wednesday and aim to visit about 1100 homes a day. They should complete the task by Tuesday next week. You can check the Council’s map to see when your delivery day/days will be.

The testers will drop off the kits and return about two hours later to collect the completed tests. It’s essential that the completed tests are collected by hand and not posted back as they need to go to a particular laboratory for analysis.

The testers will all have an official Ealing Council/NHS ID badge with their photo and will be wearing PPE.

The results of the tests will be sent back within three days. Anyone who tests positive for any form of Covid-19 must self isolate for 10 days as per current guidelines. If anyone tests positive for the South African variant they will be contacted individually about this.

The Dean Gardens walk-in testing site has been very busy and the Council is working to increase its capacity. You can book a test at the Dean Gardens site here.

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