Passing by Dean Gardens car park this morning I saw the mobile testing site being set up. It seems one Hanwell/West Ealing resident has tested positive for the South African strain of Covid-19 and the Council is urging people who live in or work in West Ealing and Hanwell to get a free test, whether or not you have symptoms. Booking details for a test are here. The more people who take the test the better the information about what may need to be done to contain its spread.
As well as the walk-in centre in Dean Gardens car park off Leeland Terrace, free home tests will be sent to local households. The test kit will have details of what to do and how to return the completed tests.
The Ealing Today site has more detail on this story.
Update at 11.30pm on Monday 1st February
This is an email from Ealing Council with more information:
The council’s public health team was contacted by
national test and trace officials and colleagues from Public Health
England in the last few days to confirm that several areas in the UK had
been identified as having the South African variant
of COVID-19. A small number of individuals in these areas who tested
positive with this variant had not travelled to South Africa or been in
contact with anyone who had links to South Africa.
And NHS Test and Trace has now confirmed that a
person in the W7 postcode area was one of these small number of cases.
The individual is understood to have been tested for the virus at the
end of December despite not having travelled to
South Africa or been in contact with anyone else who had. The person,
who is not being identified, is being praised for following all public
health guidance and self-isolating. They have now made a full recovery.
Ealing Council’s public health team was recently
contacted by national test and trace officials and PHE and asked to
support their response to the possible spread of this variant.
Although the government has said there is currently
no evidence that it causes more severe illness or that the vaccine
would not protect against it, the South African variant can be passed on
Testing local people for the variant
To swiftly respond to this a walk-through variant
testing centre will be in place from today (Monday, 1 February) at Dean
Gardens car park in Leeland Terrace, West Ealing W13 9DA. This will mean
that parking in the Dean Gardens car park
will be suspended.
Residents and people working in the area who do not
have symptoms should book a test at the Dean Gardens car park mobile
testing unit – there is a link on
the website page. This is a PCR test that will be sent to a laboratory.
(please note that this test is different from the
lateral flow tests that are also being offered in six venues across the
borough of Ealing where you get your results within an hour or so)
Later this week, the council will also start a
door-to-door delivery of free home test kits to all households within
the identified area.
You can check if you are in the identified area with the postcode lookup on
the website page
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable or
shielding, you are asked to wait for the home test kit rather than
attend the variant testing centre in Dean Gardens car park.
The kits will then be collected directly from
households. Do not post them back. The council will be publicising the
delivery routes as and when they are available.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director at
Public Health England, said: “The UK has one of the best genomic
systems in the world, which has allowed us to detect the variant
originating in South Africa here in London. I urge everyone
offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our
communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant.
“The most important thing is that people continue
to follow the national lockdown guidance that is in place – stay at home
as much as possible, limit your number of contacts, wash your hands
regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance
and cover your face. If you test positive by any method, you must
isolate to stop the spread of the virus.”