More than 6,000 people tested for Covid variant

A mass COVID testing centre at Diss Leisure Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden

A mass COVID testing centre at Diss Leisure Centre. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

More than 6,000 people have taken part in surge testing in South Norfolk, in a bid to detect the new South African variant of Covid-19. 

Around 6,100 people living and working in the parishes of Diss and Roydon have now participated in targeted surge testing. 

Norfolk Public Health and South Norfolk Council have applauded the efforts of local people and remain keen to remind anyone who has collected a home test kit since Friday to complete their test and return it as soon as possible.

They urged anyone who had not yet booked a test to do so this week. 

Coronavirus surge testing has begun in Diss and Roydon

Coronavirus surge testing has begun in Diss and Roydon - Credit: Danielle Booden

More than 2,600 people have been tested at the three mobile testing units since Friday, February 19, with around 3,500 home testing kit swabs returned so far of more than 4,000 issued. 


You may also want to watch:


The programme of precautionary testing, which was launched last week to identify if there is wider spread of a variant of Covid-19 believed to have originated in South Africa, has seen such a huge community response that targets are being met earlier than expected. 

Adjustments are now being made to the opening times and dates of drop-off points and the three mobile testing units. 

Most Read

Norfolk County Council’s deputy director of public health Diane Steiner said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way local people have responded to our call to participate in this testing. 

“Once again, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has taken the time to get tested at mobile testing units or by collecting test kits and returning them. It’s been a truly great effort and will help us to identify if there is any wider spread of this variant. 

“We will now adjust our arrangements for testing to reflect this. I would appeal to anyone who has collected a home testing kit since Friday but not yet returned it to do so – please remember you need to drop it off within 24 hours of taking the test. 

“We are also still appealing to anyone who has not yet been tested to book an appointment at one of the mobile testing units, or to book a home testing kit, this week if possible.” 

Covid surge testing is taking place in Roydon, near Diss

Covid surge testing is taking place in Roydon, near Diss - Credit: Danielle Booden

Completed home tests can be dropped off at Midwich in Vince’s Road Diss, IP22 4YT or outside Roydon White Hart/Roydon Church any time between 9am and 7pm until Thursday, February 25.  

After this, kits can be dropped off at any of the three mobile testing units during opening hours or daily between 8am and 6pm at Diss Leisure Centre. 

Tests can be booked for anyone over the age of 16 who lives or works in the parishes of Diss and Roydon. Bookings can be made from 8pm each day by ringing 119 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test with appointments available at three mobile testing sites at: 

  • Diss Youth and Community Centre, open until 3pm. 

  • Roydon Community Centre, opening hours changing from tomorrow to 10am to 4pm, open daily until Sunday 28 February. 

  • Diss Leisure Centre, open daily from 9am to 3pm until Thursday 4 March. 

Those who do not have Covid symptoms should click ‘yes’ when asked ‘is the person who needs a test part of a trial or government project?’ and then select ‘taking part in community testing’.  

Those who do have Covid symptoms, follow the instructions on the website and choose one of the mobile testing units listed above and drive to the testing centre if they can. 

Surge testing takes place at Diss Leisure Centre

Surge testing takes place at Diss Leisure Centre - Credit: Danielle Booden

Positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the variant of Covid-19 that is believed to have originated in South Africa, enabling a better understanding of the variant and identifying if there are any more cases of this strand of the virus in the area. 

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate immediately with their households and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace. 

Anyone unable to attend a mobile testing unit or experiencing difficulties with booking a test should contact the South Norfolk help hub on 01508 533933. 

For further information log on to www.norfolk.gov.uk/surgetesting 


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus