Villagers will be surge tested after the South African variant of coronavirus was found in the Wooburn Green area.

Buckinghamshire Council has confirmed the variant cannot be traced back to international travel, adding that the person who has it has self-isolated and followed all the recommended guidance.

Council officials will be delivering home test kits to all households in Wooburn Green and parts of Flackwell Heath from Thursday, February 25 until Tuesday March 2.

These tests can be taken at home and will then be collected later that day by a council volunteer.

READ MORE: What is the Covid South African variant and what do we know about it?

If there is no-one at home, a leaflet will be dropped through the door explaining how to get a test.

If you have no symptoms and have not received a home test kit in the surge testing area, you can get tested at the mobile testing unit in the Wooburn Green area at the Red Lion pub Car Park, 41 The Green, Wooburn Green, HP10 0EU.

A council spokesman said: “Positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the new variant first discovered in South Africa, enabling a better understanding of the variant and identifying if there are any more cases of this variant of the virus in the area.

“If someone tests positive, they must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that this variant causes more serious illness than other variants.”

Bucks Free Press: PICTURED: The HP10 boundary area. Image: GooglePICTURED: The HP10 boundary area. Image: Google

The council is also urging everyone living and working in the HP10 postcode area (pictured above) over the age of 16 to take a PCR Covid-19 test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms.

Children over the age of five who live in this postcode area can also be tested at the request of the parents/carers.

Jane O’Grady Director of Public Health for Buckinghamshire said: “The UK has one of the best genomic systems in the world which has allowed us to detect the variant originating in South Africa here in the Wooburn Green area.

“I urge everyone offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant.

READ MORE: TWO more rapid testing sites have opened this week

“The most important thing is that people continue to follow the guidance that is in place – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.”

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for NHS Test and Trace said a small proportion of cases of the new variant have no link to international travel, suggesting there are some cases in the community.

Gareth Williams, cabinet member for communities and public health at Buckinghamshire Council said: “We have a team of volunteers made up of council staff and our partners who will be out in the Wooburn Green area and parts of Flackwell Heath over the next five to seven days delivering tests, door to door.

READ MORE: Covid vaccine calculator shows when you will get your jab

“Everyone involved will have had a Lateral Flow test before they go out, will be wearing PPE to ensure both their safety and those of our residents, and all will have official identification.

“None of our volunteers will be asking for any personal information, bank account details, passwords, PIN numbers, a payment or asking you to call a premium rate number. Volunteers will also not need to go into any houses.”

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