Haringey coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
Enhanced testing is to be deployed in N10 (Muswell Hill) following the detection of a case of Brazil variant (P1) of the COVID-19 virus in the area, with a link back to recent travel to Brazil. The case was picked up through surge testing and NHS contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts.
The Brazilian COVID-19 variant appears to be similar to the current dominant UK variant in terms of transmissibility and risk of severe illness. Research is being done into how well this variant responds to vaccines. There is currently no evidence that existing COVID-19 vaccines will not work against it.
Working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, every person living in affected postcodes in N10 over the age of 16 is strongly encouraged to take a PCR COVID-19 test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms.
Haringey and Barnet Council are working together to provide testing to these selected postcodes using a mix of door to door test kit drops and nearby mobile testing units. Residents will also be able to drop completed tests off at designated collection hubs. Testing will begin this weekend and residents in the affected postcodes can expect to receive leaflets with further instructions in the coming days. A list of affected postcodes and MTU/collection hub locations will also go up on Haringey and Barnet’s websites.
This enhanced testing is only for people who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms; high temperature, continuous cough and a loss or change in smell or taste. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not take the home test kits and should instead book a test at one of our other sites https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Everyone in this area should continue to follow current lockdown guidance as before. Those who cannot work from home, should still go to work. Schools in the area should continue as normal.
Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council said:
“Following the detection of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19 in N10, the NHS is deploying enhanced testing to ensure that we detect any further spread.
“We have no reason to think that this variant poses any more threat than the dominant strain of COVID-19, but let’s make no mistake – our battle with COVID-19 is not over and everyone must play their part in stopping further spread. I would urge all in the Muswell Hill area who are asked to come forward for further testing, to do so. Detecting any spread is the only way that we can safeguard our communities from this new variant.”
Cllr Daniel Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, said:
“The Brazilian variant of COVID-19 was detected in an N10 postcode in Haringey. There is no current evidence of wider spread in the community. However, we are working closely with colleagues in Haringey Council to introduce door-to-door testing and to deploy mobile testing units to encourage residents to get tested so that we can see if it has spread any further.
“I urge everyone to continue to stick to the rules of social distancing, hand washing and face covering and to keep themselves and others safe from the virus. Getting tested and getting vaccinated will help us all return to normality as soon as possible.”
When knocking on doors, the team will be wearing council-branded jackets and have appropriate PPE, maintain a safe distance, and have ID stating they are working on behalf of either Haringey or Barnet council.
Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) will be also deployed offering PCR testing for people in affected postcodes who will not have a test kit delivered to their door or who missed their test kits being delivered. Details of MTU locations will be on both councils’ websites.
Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and lockdown measures, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus, while enabling a better understanding of the mutation.
Positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the mutation, enabling a better understanding of the mutation, and identifying if there are any more cases of this particular strand of the virus in the area. If someone tests positive, they must self-isolate immediately and pass on details on their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England said:
“All viruses mutate over time and since the start of the pandemic over 4,000 mutations have been identified in the UK. Most are not a concern for scientists, but we know that some mutations result in virus variants that we are keen to track more carefully.
“In London we’re working with NHS Test and Trace and local authority public health teams on tailored intervention measures for variants. These include more testing, additional genomic sequencing and enhanced contact tracing, enabling us to quickly identify any further cases and help prevent any onward spread.
“It’s key that we adapt and respond to the changing nature of COVID-19 in a way that works for our communities, our city and for Londoners. Taking this targeted approach is essential as we look to take the first cautious steps out of lockdown.
“Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms at all, and testing is quick and free. If you are an eligible resident of N10, please take advantage of the opportunity to take a test and keep London safe.”
There will be a COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Sunday (21 March) in the heart of Tottenham. It is the perfect opportunity to get the vaccine for those who are 50 years and over who live nearby and may find it difficult to attend appointments during the week, or who may still be a bit unsure about the vaccine. It is a walk-in service so there is no need to pre-book, but identification is required.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will help to protect you and your loved ones from getting seriously ill from COVID-19. It will also help to stop the spread of the virus, making the community safer and enabling Haringey to get back to normal.
Dr Will Marmaris, Director of Public Health at Haringey Council said:
“We are really grateful to all residents in Tottenham Hale who completed a Covid-19 test even though they did not have symptoms to help us understand whether there was any spread of the South African variant of Covid-19. Thousands of local residents returned their tests which enabled us to identify that overall cases of covid were low in the community, and initial findings indicate no evidence that the South African variant was spreading through local community contact, however surveillance continues.
“The London Borough of Haringey will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to deploy appropriate public health interventions when variants of concern are found including testing, increased genomic sequencing, and other measures to monitor and help suppress the spread of new variants.”
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