Today (Wednesday, March 3) a period of Enhanced Testing for Covid-19 in parts of Moston and Harpurhey will draw to a close.
Nearly two weeks ago a case of the Kent Variant of Covid-19 was traced back to this part of Manchester.
In what is now standard practice in this type of situation, measures were put in place to contain the further spread of the virus through mass testing of thousands of residents.
Earlier in the year the same procedure took place in Moss Side, Whalley Range, Fallowfield and Hulme after several cases of the Kent Variant were detected.
In north Manchester, Mobile Testing Units were set up in Ebsworth Street and Thorp Road, allowing residents to walk or drive up to receive a PCR swab test for Covid-19.
For residents who were not able to leave their homes, members of the Council’s Neighbourhoods Team were sent out to knock on thousands of doors to deliver at-home tests, as well as to get out the word for the need to get tested.
During the period of Enhanced Testing a total of 2,650 tests were carried out. This was supported by more than 2,900 door knocks, as well as letters being sent out to thousands of households.
Figures are still being collected from across the area, but as of today (March 3), 31 positive cases were recorded. These will go on for further testing to determine if any are of the new strain.
The testing site in Ebsworth Street will close on Wednesday, March 3 at 5pm.
Even though Enhanced Testing in these areas is winding down, it is vital that residents still observe social distancing measures, as well as wear masks and minimise contact with people not living in their household.
For information and updates about Covid-19 in Manchester please visit www.manchester.gov.uk/coronavirus
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, said: “There have been many times throughout this pandemic where people have been asked to go that extra mile to keep one another safe. I am extremely grateful as well as proud at the willingness residents in Moston and Harpurhey have shown when it comes to getting tested.
“Being told there is a new strain present in a community can be unnerving but, people responded by doing the right thing and getting a test. As a Council we will remain vigilant should further strains emerge in Manchester, and learn from past experiences on how we can isolate any new cases quickly and safely.”
David Regan, Director of Public Health for Manchester said: “Enhanced Testing has been a vital tool for us to work on preventing the spread of Covid-19 variants in Manchester. Our local healthcare teams, supported and guided by experts at Public Health England, were able to quickly and effectively put measures in place to get as many people tested as soon as possible once the mutation of the Kent Variant was detected.
“We will be able to use this experience going forward if further variants are found in the city, and ensure that our communities are kept as safe as possible. Until then it is crucial that everyone still follows safety guidelines around the continued wearing of masks, social distancing and regularly washing our hands.”