Surge testing is continuing in Bedford Borough to tackle the high rates of infection locally. This weekend, teams of volunteers will be going door-to-door in Cauldwell, Kingsbrook and Queens Park to hand out free PCR test kits to residents, returning the same day to collect them. Teams visiting properties to hand out packs will be carrying Bedford Borough Council lanyards.
Surge testing started two weeks ago as Bedford Borough has one of the highest rates per 100,000 in the country. Surge testing is a process whereby everyone living, working or studying in a specific area, who does not already have symptoms, is asked to take a COVID-19 PCR test. Many people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms and may be spreading the virus without realising, so surge testing will help monitor and prevent the spread of the virus.
So far, more than 3,000 residents have visited the Mobile testing Units with a further 6,000 testing kits issued at collection and drop off points.
Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing said, “Cases in Bedford Borough remain high. We are asking everyone to do everything they can to help stop the spread of the virus. With a third of cases not showing any symptoms you could unknowingly pass the virus on to others. Offering free PCR tests door to door in areas with the highest infection rates will give more people the opportunity to take a test and help monitor and prevent the spread.
“We encourage everyone in these areas to take a test and self-isolate if they are positive. Please have both doses of the vaccine when you are eligible. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, keep social distancing, meet up outside if you can and avoid crowded places. Remember Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air
“Thank you to all residents that have so far taken up the offer of a free PCR test.”
Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) will continue to be available seven days a week for people from Cauldwell, Kingsbrook or Queens Park. No appointment is necessary and people can arrive on foot or by car:
- Oasis Beach Pool, Cardington Road, Kingsbrook, Bedford, MK42 0BZ (8am to 6pm)
- John Bunyan Sports and Fitness, Mile Road, Cauldwell, Bedford, MK42 9TS (8am to 6pm)
- Enterprise House, Old Ford End Road, Queens Park, Bedford, MK40 4PF (8am to 5pm)
The collect and drop off sites will no longer be open after Friday 4 June. Anyone who still has a kit to return after Friday can take it to either the Prebend Street or University of Bedfordshire Local Testing Site.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate and book a test at gov.uk/coronavirus, visit the NHS COVID-19 app or call 119.
If you do test positive, you must self-isolate to protect others but you may be eligible for financial assistance and other support. For more information visit: https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/test-and-trace-support-payment/