Update 28 May 2021
A small number of cases with one of the Covid-19 Indian variant has been recently confirmed at Burton Borough School in Newport.
If they haven’t done so already, it’s important that all secondary school-aged children in Newport, staff at the schools and their extended families and support bubbles get a PCR test as a precaution even if they have no symptoms.
Thank you to everyone who got tested as a precaution - over 1, 300 tests were done so far.
Each test helps us to track and prevent the spread of the virus.
Please view the following FAQs for more information.
The cases were identified a few weeks ago at Burton Borough school in Newport. It has been recently reported following results from the testing lab that these cases were one of the COVID-19 Indian variants.
Public Health England (PHE) are monitoring the situation closely and the infection is currently well contained. Everyone who has been identified with the variant has already self-isolated and so did their close contacts following enhanced contact tracing.
PHE state that while the Indian variant is considered to be more transmissible, there is currently no firm evidence that it causes more serious illness. There is also a high degree of confidence that the current Covid vaccines will protect against the Indian variant.
As an extra precaution and to minimise the risk of the variant spreading in the community, certain groups are being asked to get tested.
As a precaution and to minimise the risk of the variant spreading in the community, we are asking all secondary school-aged children in Newport, staff at the schools and their extended families and support bubbles (from Burton Borough, Haberdashers' Adams Grammar and Newport Girls' High School Academy) to take a PCR COVID-19 test, even if they are not showing symptoms and even if the adults in the families have been vaccinated.
Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult when taking a test.
The walk-through testing centre at Shuker Playing Fields, Sports and Social Club, Barnmeadow Road, TF10 7TP continues to be open until 29 May 2021, 11am - 6pm weekday and on Saturday 29 May 2021, 9am - 3pm.
Residents can drop-in between the opening times - no appointments needed.
If it is more convenient, you can book an appointment at other PCR testing sites across the borough. When completing the booking form, in the section "Why are you getting tested?", please select the option "My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms."
If you have no symptoms, you do not have to self-isolate until the results come back – as you are being asked to get a PCR test as a precaution.
However, anyone with any main coronavirus symptoms needs to self-isolate immediately prior to test results coming back.
Testing residents regardless of their symptoms or vaccination status will help understand where the variant of concern is. Knowing this information helps to reduce the spread of the virus by isolating residents when required.
Residents with no symptoms should continue to check for COVID-19 twice a week using a rapid lateral flow test. You should get a PCR test if you have been asked.
It remains safe to send your child(ren) to school (as all COVID-19 safety measures are in place at schools across the borough) and you should continue to do so.
You will be informed directly by the school in case of any outbreaks or further actions you need to take.
All viruses can change over time. Usually, those changes are small and make little difference.
Sometimes the virus can change (mutate) in a way that allows it to spread more quickly or makes it resistant to interventions.
The virus can also change, and that's why we have experts constantly researching its behaviour so that any changes can be identified and dealt with quickly.
PHE has advised that while the COVID-19 Indian variant is considered to be more transmissible, there is currently no firm evidence that it causes more serious illness. There is also a high degree of confidence that the current COVID-19 vaccines will protect against the Indian variant.
Yes. Having the vaccine is a vital way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Have your vaccine when offered.
PHE and partners closely monitor the spread of variants in the UK, rapidly investigating variant mutations in the lab to determine their characteristics. They are continuing efforts to understand the effect of the variants on vaccine efficiency, and there is currently no evidence to suggest that vaccines will be ineffective. If required, future vaccines could be redesigned and tweaked to be a better match to these variants, as is the case for seasonal flu vaccines.
PHE will keep looking at the data and intelligence to help with understanding the performance of vaccines in the real world, as well as in laboratories, but the trial data is very persuasive; these are highly effective vaccines, and we would expect that to translate into what happens in real practice.
No. The vaccination programme is continuing as planned in Telford and Wrekin.
Yes. If you've already had the COVID-19 vaccine, we are still asking you to have a PCR test.
It can take a few weeks to build up immunity to the virus. Testing vaccinated residents will help us to understand if and how the virus has spread in the local community.
There is still a lot that we can all do to stop the spread of the virus.
Follow all public health measures; face covering indoors, handwashing, social distancing and fresh air or good ventilation.
Continue to attend health and vaccination appointments unless self-isolating.
Remember, we all need to do our part.
Last updated: 28/05/2021 09:47