50,000 enhanced Covid tests in Lambeth – three days still to go

Covid home test kit
Home test kits are available for people who cannot get to a test site

More than 50,000 people in Lambeth have taken a PCR Covid test over the past 12 days of enhanced testing, and the council is urging any resident or visiting worker who has not yet been tested to get one before Tuesday (27 April).

Enhanced testing using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that can identify variants of the Covid virus will continue in Lambeth until the end of Monday.

Residents and people who work in or travel through the borough can still join the initiative by visiting a local test site, by ordering a test online or by calling 119.

Enhanced testing began after cases of the variant first identified in South Africa were detected in Lambeth and Wandsworth.

Ruth Hutt, Lambeth’s director of public health, said: “Thousands of people in Lambeth have joined this enhanced testing operation in Lambeth and we are incredibly grateful for their contribution.

“Enhanced testing will continue until the end of Monday – so I would urge anyone who hasn’t taken a PCR test yet to please join in.

“It is important to add that, as well as taking a PCR test, residents should continue to follow the current guidance, which includes limiting your number of contacts, washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, keeping your distance and covering your face.

“If you test positive for Covid-19 you must isolate in order to prevent passing on the virus.”

Full details of test site locations and instructions are on the council website.

Covid test site
Covid test site in Brockwell Park

People who are unable to get to a testing site can order a PCR test kit online.

Lambeth residents should select the option “my local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms” when asked why they are requesting a test.

All PCR tests, including those ordered via gov.uk, must be returned to a Lambeth testing site listed on the council website.

PCR tests are different to the lateral flow tests more commonly used as part of routine asymptomatic testing.

If a PCR test is positive, PCR results can be sent for genomic sequencing at a specialist laboratory, helping to identify cases of a variant of concern and to stop its spread.

For people who do test positive, Lambeth has a comprehensive Covid-19 self-isolation support service for those who need it.

This includes payments of up to £500 for residents on low incomes.

To find out more call 0800 054 1215, 9am to 5pm, seven days a week or visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/self-isolate-help.

Residents are also being asked to get vaccinated if invited for a jab by the NHS.

People with Covid-19 symptoms can get tested at one of several symptomatic local test sites in Lambeth. They should book an appointment at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.