More than half of Covid-19 ‘surge tests’ yet to be returned

more than half of covid 19 surge tests yet to be returned - More than half of Covid-19 'surge tests' yet to be returned

More than half the people who took Covid-19 test kits home as part of the efforts to track the new Bristol variant of the virus haven’t yet returned them – and now health chiefs are appealing for people to hand them back in.

Around 20,000 testing kits were given out this week across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, as health chiefs opened up libraries, health centres and mobile testing sites, giving people the option to have a test done on them there and then, or take kits home and carry out the tests on themselves.

But less than half the people who took them have done that – and now Bristol’s director of public health said they ‘urgently’ need them back, completed.

The ‘surge’ testing for the new Covid variant began last Sunday, February 7, and up until the end of Thursday, had seen around 30,000 tests used.

Get the biggest stories from across Bristol straight to your inbox

Around 10,800 of those were carried out by health professionals at the mobile testing units, while another 20,000 or so were handed out at the ‘Collect and Drop sites’ across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Of those 20,000, only 9,200 have been returned, up until Thursday – with Friday’s and Saturday morning’s returns still yet to be counted.

People are encouraged to register and return their test as soon as possible, a council spokesperson said. Residents are also being asked to collect a home test for people they know who cannot access an MTU or Collect and Drop site, particularly older people, to ensure as many eligible people as possible are tested during the two week programme.

“The uptake of testing so far is very positive but we urgently need people to register their tests and return them to the Collect and Drop site,” said Christina Gray, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council.

“This is the only way we can ensure we’re getting as much data as possible to learn about the virus and look to reduce local infection rates. We are looking to provide tests in areas where uptake is low, or access is more difficult, which we hope to roll out next week. Having your tests back will help us understand where we need to focus,” she added.

People living or working in one of the 24 specific postcodes, aged over 16 and without symptoms of Covid-19 have been invited to get a test as part of an investigation being undertaken by local authorities, Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care.

This is to establish the prevalence of a change in the variant of the Covid-19 virus first found in Kent, which has been located in parts of Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Sara Blackmore, Director of Public Health at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “If someone you know cannot access a site and you can, please collect a home test for them and return it as soon as possible. As national lockdown restrictions remain in place, we ask you please do this safely and do not mix with other households, unless they are in your support bubble.”

On Friday, six mobile testing units have been set up across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

They are open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm.

  • Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR
  • Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA
  • Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ
  • Shaftsbury Park, Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1LG
  • The Imperial Sports Ground, West Town Lane, BS14 9EA
  • Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8RZ
  • And there are five ‘Collect and Drop’ sites for people to pick up testing kits and do the tests at home. They are open at five locations in Bristol, and seven in South Gloucestershire, including a new one opened today, Saturday, February 13, at Pucklechurch Community Centre.

    The Collect and Drop sites in Bristol are currently open six days a week, except Sunday, between 10am and 4pm at the following locations:

    • Fishponds Library, Robinson House, Hockey’s Lane, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3HL
    • Henleaze Library, 30 Northumbria Drive, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4HP
    • Junction 3 Library, 138b Lower Ashley Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0FJ
    • Whitchurch Library, 7 Oatlands Ave, Bristol, BS14 0SX
    • Wick Road Library, Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 4HE

    Six Collect and Drop sites in South Gloucestershire are open Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm, here:

    • Emersons Green Library, Emersons Way, Emersons Green, BS16 7AP
    • Downend Library, Buckingham Gardens, Downend, BS16 5TW
    • Hambrook Cricket Club, Moorend Road, Hambrook Winterbourne, BS16 1SJ
    • Shireway Community Centre, Shire Way, Yate, BS37 8YS
    • Staple Hill Library, Broad Street, Staple Hill, BS16 5LS
    • Westerleigh Village Hall, Shorthill Road, BS37 8QL

    The newest Collect and Drop site in Pucklechurch is open at different times. It’s at the Abson Road community centre, and will open every day between now and Tuesday, and then reopen again next weekend.

    Back to: The Traffic SEOWebsite SEONews and BLOGBristol News

    You may also like...