“Case numbers now stable” surge testing in targeted areas of Bedford ends today

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Guru Nanak Temple Queen's Park COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine centre
Guru Nanak Temple Queen's Park COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine centre

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) surge testing programme being carried out in the Cauldwell, Kingsbrook and Queen’s Park areas of Bedford will end today.

Heightened testing was rolled out in ‘problem’ areas to identify as many positive cases as possible and break chains of transmission.

This began four weeks ago (20 May) after it was found Bedford was reporting the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

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In a statement, Bedford Borough Council offered “thanks” to residents in those wards who took up the offer of a free PCR test.

It’s also reported that at the time of publication, 3,785 people have taken a test at one of the special mobile testing units, whereas over 17,000 self-tests have been handed out.

“With case numbers in those areas now stable or falling surge testing will come to an end and the special mobile testing units will stop [today],” said a council spokesperson.

Residents who have yet to return their completed test can still do so by dropping them at the Prebend Street or University of Bedfordshire testing sites, or by posting them in a priority post box.

Map: Priority Post boxes in Bedford Borough

The news comes after it was announced that all over 18s in Bedford Borough can book their first vaccination at Kings House or the Guru Nanak Temple.

They can do this by calling 01234 718077, or at bedford.gov.uk/vaccinations.

Over 25s need to book their vaccination through the national booking system at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119.

Read: All unvaccinated over-18 Bedfordians encouraged to book hundreds of Pfizer slots available in Borough

Coronavirus threat remains

While the news will be seen as a step in the right direction. Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said the threat of coronavirus is still very real.

“We are stopping surge testing in these areas but COVID-19 has not gone away,” she said.

“Please continue to be cautious. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, keep social distancing, meet up outside if you can and avoid crowded places.

“With the weather improving, take the opportunity to meet with friends and family outdoors where fresh air can blow away any COVID particles.

“Remember Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air and I encourage all adults to book their vaccine appointment.”

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate and book a test at gov.uk/coronavirus, visit the NHS COVID-19 app or call 119.

Further guidance for those who test positive still remains in place, with support if you do need to self-isolate.

You must self-isolate to protect others but you may be eligible for financial assistance and other support.

You can find out more information via the Bedford Borough Council website.

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