Click here for map http://www.flackwellheath.net/dl/surge_testing_map.pdf

FAQs about the surge testing

How many cases of the South African variant of COVID have been detected in Buckinghamshire?
As of 21 February 2021, a single case of the COVID variant that originated in South Africa had been identified in Buckinghamshire – with no links to travel. The person has self-isolated and followed all of the recommended guidance.

What further information can you provide us about the cases?
The identity of the case is confidential, and we cannot provide any further information other than the location it was identified.

What can I do to prevent further spread?
The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to wash your hands, wear a face covering and keep your distance from others. Whilst in lockdown, it is important that we also stay at home unless it is absolutely essential to go out. You can also support by completing the COVID test delivered to you if you live within the area where the case has been identified. The localised testing programme allows public health agencies to carry out an important process called genomic sequencing which helps to monitor and understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond accordingly.

Should I take part in the localised testing programme if I tested positive (Lateral Flow or PCR) for COVID-19 recently?
The national guidance is not to re-test if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, unless you develop symptoms. This is because the PCR test is very sensitive and can pick up old infection beyond the infectious period. However, if you wish to participate in the local testing programme you can. If you have a further positive result you will need to follow the advice given by Test and Trace and the self-isolation process will begin again.

If I am having regular lateral flow (rapid) tests for work, should I take part in local surge testing?
Yes. If you do not have symptoms and live or work in one of the eligible postcode areas, you are strongly advised to take part. The localised testing programme allows public health agencies to carry out an important process called genomic sequencing which helps to monitor and understand the evolution of new COVID-19 variants and respond accordingly.

I have COVID-19 symptoms, should I complete the door-to-door test?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate and get a test by booking an appointment at a test centre, using either www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or the 119 phone line. If you have only just developed symptoms when the door-to-door tests are delivered then you can use them instead, and must continue to self-isolate for 10 days (along with the rest of your household) unless the result comes back negative.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

What should I do if I need help taking the test or I’m not there when you try to deliver a test?
There is a Mobile Testing Unit in the area, that is available for walk-in (un-booked) testing, for those who need help taking the test or those essential workers who may not be at home when we call. Details can be found on our website: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/surgetesting

If you currently have symptoms and need help taking a test then please do not use the local MTU – this is only for people without symptoms. Please instead follow the instructions above for booking a test by the usual route.

How will I receive my results?
You’ll usually get a text or email with your result when it’s ready. Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to three days. Please don’t call your GP as they will not have access to these results. Initially you will receive a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ result – you will not receive any information on the variant of COVID until your test has gone through the sequencing process. If you have the South African variant of COVID you will be contacted again – the timeframe for this is longer, and could be several weeks.

What should I do if I develop symptoms after the test?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new and persistent cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), however mild, you should self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should also get a test straight away through the NHS Test and Trace Service by calling 119 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Once you have received your test result, you should follow the guidance on test results.

Does the COVID vaccine protect against this variant?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that vaccines will not offer protection against this variant.

I am an essential worker can I go to work whilst awaiting my results?
Yes, but if you develop symptoms you must self-isolate. Everyone who is currently allowed to work can keep working, taking all the normal precautions.

I work out in the community do I need to take any extra precautions?
You should continue to adopt precautions (face coverings indoors, 2m social distancing where possible and regular handwashing) and you can continue to work as normal – completing home visits, deliveries etc. We will keep the situation under review and will keep you informed of any changes.

Do I need to be tested/have regular tests if I have been in contact with people who live in this area?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should isolate for 10 days and book a test as soon as possible. If you are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, you should be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and should isolate for 10 days from the date you were last in contact with the positive case. This is the same process for all variants of COVID-19.

Do I need to self-isolate if I have been in contact with someone from this area?
You only need to self-isolate if you or they have symptoms, have tested positive or been contacted by Test and Trace.

Do I need to be tested if I have already been vaccinated?
Yes, we want to test as many people as possible who live and/or work in this area, whether or not they have been vaccinated.