Surge testing: Every adult in Wakefield and Pontefract asked to book a Covid test amid rise in Delta cases
Adults in large areas of Wakefield and Pontefract are being asked to book a Covid test, as a surge testing scheme launches in the district.
Wakefield Council is working with NHS Test and Trace to implement additional testing in areas of the district where high case rates have been reported.
These are the wards of Wakefield North, Wakefield South, Wakefield East, Pontefract North and Pontefract South.
All adults aged 18 and over in the affected areas are now being urged to take a PCR test, whether they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or not.
In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said it followed "the identification of a small number of confirmed cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.
"All the confirmed cases have been instructed to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified."
PCR tests must be sent to a laboratory for results, and are considered more accurate than the lateral flow tests, which are frequently taken at home.
According to the latest data from Public Health England, 480 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the Wakefield district, accounting for almost two-thirds of all new cases since the start of the month.
These figures are updated weekly, and were last released on Friday, June 18.
Case rates in the district currently stand at 92.7 per 100,000 people, up from 46.8 per 100,000 at the start of the month.
Wakefield Council has previously backed calls for people to book Covid tests, and confirmed that additional testing facilities will be open across the district this week.
In a statement on its website, the council said: "We are urging everyone in the district to get a Covid-19 test, in order to lower infection rates across Wakefield and ensure remaining lockdown restrictions can be lifted on 19 July.
"Additionally, community door-knocking and ‘drop-in’ testing centres will be happening in areas experiencing the highest number of case rates, including the new COVID-19 delta variant."
Click here to see the full list of mobile testing units currently in operation in the district.
A spokesperson for DHSC said: "Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern (VOC). This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.
"By using PCR testing, positive results are sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify Covid-19 cases with a VOC and then prevent their spread.
"If you have symptoms you should book a free test online or by phone. You can then go to a testing site or have a kit sent to your home. If you have no symptoms, you should visit your local authority’s website for more information.
"People in this area should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow devices, alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing."