The surge testing operation to understand the spread of a South African variant of COVID-19 in parts of Egham and Thorpe has now been completed.
The operation to test residents in particular areas followed a similar process in Woking last week. Initial numbers from the operation, which began on Saturday and finished on Thursday afternoon, show around 95% of the tests delivered have been completed and collected.
Surrey’s Chief Fire Officer and Chair of the Local Resilience Forum Steve Owen-Hughes said: “The residents in the areas tested rightly deserve a huge thank you for being so willing to support us in this important task and help Government scientists learn more about this disease.
“The community have been magnificent with people being so supportive on the doorstep and wanting to do whatever they can to help our efforts.
“Over the last few days in wind, rain and snow a dedicated group of volunteers have pulled out all the stops to make this operation a reality and I cannot thank each and every one of them enough.
“The Local Resilience Forum is all about working together – in partnership with each other and with residents – and this exercise has been a successful example of that.”
Any residents whose kits may have been missed for collection, can take those completed tests to the Mobile Testing Unit outside the Orbit Leisure Centre, Vicarage Rd, Egham TW20 8NL. The unit is open 9am-3pm until the 12th Feb. Tests should be dropped off as soon as possible after completing the test.
Volunteers and staff from across the county were involved including Runnymede Borough Council, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Surrey County Council, Surrey Heartlands, Public Health England, Department of Health & Social Care, Surrey Search and Rescue, St Johns Church, The Rotary Club and Re:Act along with other partners from across the LRF.
The surge testing operation is aimed at understanding any community spread of a variant of COVID-19 known as SARS-CoV-2 (or VOC-202012/02) which originated in South Africa.
The Surrey Local Resilience Forum has been working on the COVID response for Surrey since March 2020 and is made up of local partners including Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, District & Borough Councils, Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, Public Health England, local health services, volunteer organisations and others.