Merton Council is launching a new targeted testing programme in Pollards Hill as part of the national programme of testing to track the South African variant of Covid-19.
The ward is one of nine areas identified nationally by Public Health as having had a case of the variant which does not have any link to travel from the region.
The case was in January and the person has recovered with all contact tracing completed at the time. The council is reminding residents that there is no immediate cause for concern – normal rules should be followed in the area and anyone going to an essential role should still do so. No additional measures are required.
Council Leader Mark Allison has urged everyone in Pollards Hill who doesn’t have symptoms to get a test.
To achieve this, the council will be launching a local Mobile Testing Unit at Pollards Hill library car park, as well as drop-off and pick-up tests from a local community centre. In addition, staff from the council will be going door to door this week and next week with home-testing kits. Testing will be available from Wednesday (3 February).
It is vital that residents support the programme in order to keep the area safe, and getting a standard asymptomatic test – such as those at Morden Assembly Halls – won’t tell if you have the SA variant.
Councillor Allison said: “Merton is a great place and a great community, and because we are complying with the rules infection rates are falling.
“I want to reassure residents that this is part of a national programme to stop any potential spread of the new variant – it was a single case, in early January.
“But as it can’t be tracked to any travel from South Africa, we want to take every possible precaution – and that means testing as many Pollards Hill residents as possible.
“The more people we can test, the safer we can keep the community. So if you are approached by one of our staff, please let them help you stay safe, and take a test.”
How to get a test in Pollards Hill
- You can go to our mobile testing unit in the car park at Pollards Hill library, South Lodge Avenue, CR4 1LT, from Wednesday morning. It will be open from 8am to 3pm every day and you will need to book an appointment at merton.gov.uk/enhancedtests. You can book online on someone else’s behalf if they can’t do so themselves. People who are unable to book online, and don’t know someone who can book for them, can call us on 020 8274 5332 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm for help.
- You can pick up and drop off home testing kits at New Horizons Centre, Mitcham, CR4 1LT from Thursday. It will be open 8.30am to 6pm, seven days a week.
- Our team will be in the area knocking on doors from Thursday 4 February, offering to provide home test kits and advice on how to administer a home-test.
If symptomatic, then residents should continue to access testing from www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Asymptomatic residents from all other parts of the borough can get a lateral flow test if they need to leave home for work or essential travel by booking online and attending Morden Assembly Hall.