Covid-19 surge testing to be expanded in Kirklees

Enhanced Covid-19 testing will be expanded in Kirklees from tomorrow (Tuesday, June 8), with more communities across the district invited to get a PCR test to help identify cases of the variant first detected in India.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:08 pm
Surge testing is being expanded into other areas of Kirklees

Surge and enhanced testing began in Kirklees on May 26, with council staff knocking on people’s doors in Savile Town and Thornhill Lees, asking anyone over the age of 11 to take a PCR test. Staff have also been door-knocking in Batley following a great response from Savile Town and Thornhill Lees.

Drop-in testing units were set up in Savile Town and Batley to offer people in these areas a drop-in asymptomatic PCR test - and they remain open. People can also get an asymptomatic test at one of the council's established sites - see the Kirklees Council website for further details.

This has been done in Kirklees because the district has high – and rising – infection rates and council staff have identified cases of the variant first detected in India locally.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Kirklees' director of public health, pictured at the launch of surge testing in Savile Town, Dewsbury last month

PCR tests are being used because positive results can be sent to specialist laboratories where they can identify variants of concern, and see where they have spread.

Since launching in Kirklees on May 26, surge and enhanced testing has seen almost 2,000 PCR tests taken through door-knocking, with a further almost 5,000 tests taken through schools surge testing which has involved pupils, staff and their households.

There have been 171 new positive cases identified and isolated as a result of this work.

Surge testing will now be expanded to Thornhill, Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Westborough and Dewsbury Moor, with residents in these areas to be door-knocked and offered an asymptomatic PCR test from Tuesday, June 8.

An additional mobile testing unit will also open tomorrow (Tuesday) at Albion Street car park, Heckmondwike, and will be open from 10am-4pm every day for asymptomatic PCR testing walk-ups for people in these areas aged 11 and over.

Anyone who lives or works in Kirklees can also get an asymptomatic PCR test at the below testing sites and help to detect potential cases of the new variant and prevent further spread:

Dewsbury: Dewsbury Railway Station car park, Dewsbury, WF13 1HF (everyday from 8am-8pm).

Ravensthorpe: Ravensthorpe KNH (Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing), Queen Street, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, WF13 3BT (everyday from 8am-8pm).

Savile Town: Taleem Training and Community Centre, Orchard Street, Savile Town, Dewsbury, WF12 9LT (everyday from 10am-4pm).

Batley: Wards Hill car park, Wellington Street, Batley, WF17 5HR (everyday from 10am-4pm).

Door-knocking may be introduced to other areas at a later date.

The council is also urging anyone aged 30 and over in Kirklees to book their vaccination now.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “Our infection rate is high and is still rising. We have also had a small number of cases of the variant, first detected in India, confirmed in the borough, which we know spreads more easily.

“We are urging anyone who lives or works in Kirklees to play their part and visit one of our PCR testing centres and get tested. It’s quick, easy, painless and you’ll be playing a vital role in helping us to understand more about the way the virus is spreading in Kirklees.

"We are using PCR tests so that positive results can be sent to specialist laboratories where they can identify variants of concern, and see where they have spread.

“Thankfully, our number of hospital admissions and deaths related to Covid-19 remain low, but we all have to do what we can to make sure this remains the case. in Kirklees and in the last week we had no deaths linked to the virus.

“In addition to taking part in our PCR surge testing and enhanced testing, there are a number of ways we all need to play our part to bring Kirklees’ infection rate down so we can safely continue to follow the roadmap out of lockdown.

“Every vaccination matters. We’re working with Government to increase our vaccine offer. The more people that take it, the safer we all are and the sooner we can get back to normality. You’ll be contacted when it’s your turn and anyone aged 30 and over in Kirklees can book their vaccination now.

“It’s really important, that even when you have received your vaccine, that you continue to do the basics: hands, face, space as well as letting plenty of fresh air indoors.

“Getting tested regularly is a really effective way we can all prevent the spread of the virus. This is really important, even if you have been vaccinated.

“Thank you all for playing your part.”