General

Surge testing to be deployed to control spread of Covid-19 variant in two areas within Reigate & Banstead from Friday 18 June

  • Area one is focused around Banstead, Walton-on-the-Hill and Tattenham corner
  • Area two is Reigate town centre
  • Visit the postcode checker for quick reference to see affected areas

Extensive surveillance of COVID-19 has identified that case rates in the borough of Reigate & Banstead have been increasing for the past few weeks. This is especially evident in the younger age groups, including secondary school age children. In addition to this, an increasing number of these are the Delta variant, which not only is more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain but may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation nationally, for those who have not been fully vaccinated.

In response to this, working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, Surrey County Council and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council will stand up additional mass testing in the two affected areas. Anyone without symptoms who lives or works in these areas is strongly encouraged to take a PCR Covid-19 test this week. This includes adults and children. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should not take part in the surge testing, but should instead book a PCR test via 119, NHS.UK or the NHS Covid-19 app.

Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space-fresh air and following national guidance, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus.

Positive tests with a high enough viral load will be sequenced enabling a better understanding of the variant(s) and the potential spread.

Four mobile testing units specifically for this additional testing will be positioned across the borough.

Cllr Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, explained: “The ask is two pronged – we are asking everyone who lives or works in the affected areas to get a PCR test, but also to ensure they get vaccinated as soon they are offered – both their first and second doses. We know that two doses offer much more protection.

“While overall case rates are nowhere near the rates we saw at the beginning of the year, they are rising. We are taking this proactive approach to reduce the spread so that we can all continue to enjoy our returned freedoms. Please play your part.”

Details of where and how to get a test

Testing units will be positioned in the following locations from Friday 18 June to Sunday 27 June.

  • Tadworth Leisure Centre, Preston Manor Rd, Tadworth KT20 5FB
  • Banstead High Street car park, 58-60 High St, Banstead SM7 2LX
  • The Mound car park, Tattenham Corner KT18 5QB
  • Reigate – Town Hall, Castlefield Rd, Reigate RH2 0SH

Units will be open:

  • Friday 18 June – 10am to 6pm 
  • Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June – 8am to 6pm  
  • Monday 21 June to Wednesday 23 June – 10am to 8pm 
  • Thursday 24 June to Sunday 27 June – 9am to 5pm

Please note:

  • The units are not bookable; people should turn up when they can
  • We anticipate they will be busier outside working hours, during lunch times and after school drop offs, so we ask that anyone who can avoid the busy times does so
  • Results will be sent to individuals directly, usually within 48 hours
  • Individuals are not required to isolate while waiting for the results, only if you receive a positive test
  • Anyone who tests positive, must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace. 

Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health, Surrey County Council said, “We’ve been seeing rates rising in Reigate and Banstead for some weeks, and we now have evidence of community transmission of the Delta variant. Surge testing in the affected areas is the best way we have of identifying cases and making sure anyone who tests positive isolates, in order to prevent further spread of the variant.

“We know that the Delta variant is more transmissible, so it’s even more important for people to follow the guidance at this time – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.

“From Friday 18 June, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for the vaccine, so please make sure you book in for your jab, and get both doses, to protect yourself and everyone around you.”

For more information, please visit the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council website.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • Latest coronavirus figures across Surrey can be accessed: Coronavirus statistics.
  • Working in partnership with local authorities, NHS Test and Trace is targeting specific areas where the variant has been found: List of locations deploying surge testing.
  • If a person tests positive, has any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive, they should self-isolate immediately.
  • People with symptoms should book a test in the usual way: Get tested for coronavirus.
  • We know that mutations form a part of the virus cycle and we are well prepared to sequence new variants and assess what action may need to be taken.
  • If you have any concerns about the testing, please contact Reigate & Banstead Borough Council on 01737 276000.
  • For press enquiries please contact the Surrey County Council press office on 020 8541 8996.

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