Enhanced Covid testing in parts of Norfolk after rapid covid rise

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining

A message to self-isolate, with one day of required isolation remaining, is displayed on the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app - Credit: PA

Everyone aged 16 or over is being strongly encouraged to participate in enhanced testing in the parishes of Hemsby, Ormesby, Somerton, and Winterton after a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

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 July 14 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 162pc 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.

Woolgrove School, Special Needs Academy remains open as usual today. Picture: Getty Images

Cllr Carl Smith said: “The enhanced testing in Ormesby and Hemsby will help prevent the spread of infection, helping to protect our loved ones, friends, workmates, visitors and customers.” - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Anyone who does have symptoms should book a PCR test by calling 119 or booking online.

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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.

The testing is being aimed at those people living and working in the area rather than visitors or tourists.

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid-19 vaccination at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught

There have been fresh calls for police to receive coronavirus vaccinations. Here, nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid jab at the vaccination centre at Connaught Hall in Attleborough. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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

No bookings needed for these sites:

  • 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.

Anyone who tests positive should call 0808 1962238 for a follow up PCR test to confirm that they are positive for Covid.

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 here.

Anyone using these tests must register the results of the test either online or by calling 119.

Children at Woodside Junior School in Hethersett help get the message out. Photo: Archant

Diane Steiner said: “While enjoying fewer restrictions, I would still strongly recommend people take precautions to keep themselves and others safe and well" - Credit: Archant

Diane Steiner, Norfolk’s Deputy Director of Public Health, said: "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 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.

Carl Smith, leader of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as the council and environmental health le

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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."