Additional testing at school after variant detection
We have been notified of a small number of cases of the new Covid-19 variant, first detected in India, in one household in Huddersfield.
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council, said:
“Close contacts were identified and isolated at the time of the initial positive results. However, now we know this is related to a variant of concern, we must be extra cautious and do everything we can to monitor and prevent its spread.
“Some members of this household are pupils at a local school. So, any pupils or staff at the school classed as a close contact – as well as those they share a household with – are being asked to take a PCR test, to help us to identify any variant of concern cases so that we can contain the spread.
“I understand people might be concerned about this, but please know there is no evidence to suggest this variant causes more severe illness than any other variant currently circulating in the UK, but it is understood to spread more easily. There is also currently no evidence to suggest this was transmitted at the school.
“We want to reassure the public that if we all follow the rules then the risk of any onward spread is low.
“Please all continue to wash your hands well and often, wear a face covering and make sure you’re social distancing when you’re out. Increasing ventilation when you are indoors with people you do not live with is important too. Getting tested regularly, or if you have symptoms, is another important way to keep our community safe.
“The vaccination programme benefits all age groups and it’s important for us all to take it when it’s our turn. It doesn’t matter how young or heathy you are, Covid-19 still presents a risk and the vaccine protects us all. This is our main route back to normality.”