North Kensington, United Kingdom – Additional surge testing and genomic sequencing deployed in North Kensington, where a small number of confirmed cases of a variant of concern have been identified.
Working in partnership with Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, NHS Test and Trace is providing additional testing and genomic sequencing in targeted areas within the W11 postcode in North Kensington. This follows the identification of a small number of cases of the variant first discovered in South Africa (B.1.351).
The confirmed cases self-isolated as required and their contacts have been identified. There are no links between these cases and the cluster of cases of this variant recently identified in the South London area.
Everybody aged 16 years and over who resides or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.
By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.
People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.
People in this area should also continue using twice-weekly rapid testing alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing.