COVID-19 Surge Testing rolled out for all residents of Lambeth & Wandsworth
The largest surge testing operation to date is now under way in South London areas due to a considerable outbreak of the COVID variant first detected in South Africa. The cluster of infections in these areas is said to be ‘significant’, with dozens of people self-isolating or already having completed an isolation period. More than 70 confirmed or possible cases of the South African variant are said to have been recorded so far.
Extra testing and genomic sequencing is being provided in the areas of Wandsworth and Lambeth. People aged 11 and over who live, work or travel through those areas are being urged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, on top of using twice-weekly rapid testing. Specialist labs will be running genomic sequencing of tests received from these areas and extra test sites have been set up as part of the response. Sites offering asymptomatic PCR testing have now been deployed at Wandsworth Town Hall, Tooting Leisure Centre and the University of Roehampton. Further testing sites are to be opened during the week.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, urged people in the affected boroughs to get tested "as soon as possible". For those who do test positive, a “comprehensive” self-isolation support service is available which includes payments of up to £500 for residents on low incomes.