A targeted enhanced testing programme is being rolled out across the ME14 1 area of Maidstone in response to confirmation of a number of cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Those living or working in the ME14 1 postcode and anyone who has attended the Quaker Meeting House on Union Street, Maidstone, within the last month, without symptoms of the coronavirus and over the age of 12, is invited to get a PCR test at the mobile testing unit stationed at the Quaker Meeting House.
The testing unit will be open 9am – 5pm from Friday 4th June until Monday 7th June for walk-in appointments (which means you cannot book an appointment) at this address:
Quaker Meeting House
Please note that children aged 13-15 must be accompanied by a parent or carer.
Those taking part will be notified of their result – whether positive or negative for coronavirus – in the usual way, by NHS Test and Trace and are not expected to self-isolate while awaiting the outcome. All positive results will be sent for further analysis and genome-sequencing to determine which strain of the virus is present.
Anyone who currently has symptoms of coronavirus – high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss or change in taste or smell – should not take part in this enhanced testing initiative but should book a test by visiting the GOV.UK website https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Kent’s interim Director of Public Health, Dr Allison Duggal, said: “We’re introducing this testing as there have been some confirmed cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Maidstone. It’s important to remember that the number of cases of the Delta variant of concern in the county are still low – and that those identified positive cases have isolated appropriately, with their contacts traced and testing offered.
“But we don’t want to take anything for granted. Working closely with Public Health England and Maidstone Borough Council, we are adopting a highly precautionary approach, continually assessing the situation and acting quickly to tackle outbreaks before they have a chance to spread.
“If you live or work in the ME14 1 area, I urge you to get tested at the mobile testing site even if you have had one or two Covid vaccinations. While the vaccination prevents most people from suffering from severe illness, it doesn’t mean you cannot get COVID-19, and we need to do everything we can to keep the most vulnerable in our communities safe and well. If everyone plays their part by continuing to follow the public health advice in their local area, we can break chains of transmission and keep Kent safe.”
Cllr David Burton, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, said: “We all need to play our part in getting tested to help us combat this virus at such a vital time.
“Maidstone Borough Council is encouraging everyone who lives or works in this area of Maidstone to get tested at the mobile site in the town – even if you have had one or two COVID vaccinations. We’ve come this far having pulled together at every stage and we have to keep that going.”
Dr Duggal added: “By following the ‘hands-face-space-and let in fresh air’ guidance, by making ‘test-record-repeat’ part of our weekly routine and by getting vaccinated when it’s our turn, we are all doing our bit to help combat the virus. Being vigilant is key to helping the county stay on track to recovery.”
People who do not live in the ME14 1 postcode are encouraged to book a test at one of our symptom-free testing centres in Kent. To find out more details and to book a test please go to KCC’s website here. It is easy to book a test and there are plenty of appointments available.
Most community pharmacies in Kent have joined the collect scheme for COVID-19 tests. For more information on where to get lateral flow tests, including community pharmacies, please click here.
Read about all the surge testing happening in England to monitor and suppress the spread of COVID-19 variants on GOV.UK here
See latest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern and variants under investigation, published by Public Health England, here