UK Covid-19 variant identified in Telford and Wrekin
Some cases of a mutation of the UK Covid-19 variant have been identified in a small cluster of cases in some families in Telford and Wrekin.
Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands are working with Telford & Wrekin Council, communities and some local schools to monitor the situation.
PHE has advised that there is no evidence that the mutation causes more serious illness and that all necessary public health interventions are being undertaken.
All cases are now self-isolating and robust contact tracing has taken place to trace their contacts and ask them to self-isolate.
Families with children at HLC secondary school and Millbrook primary school are being asked to take a PCR Covid-19 test, even if they are not showing symptoms. Parents and carers of children at these schools have been contacted directly.
A testing centre is set to open at the Telford Cultural and Leisure Centre in Hadley on the 24 April to make it easier for people to get tested.
Liz Noakes, Director for Public Health in Telford and Wrekin, said:
“Overall coronavirus cases in Telford and Wrekin remain low but we do need to closely monitor this mutation locally.
“Where we have identified these cluster of cases we are taking precautionary action to minimise and contain further infection’.
"I would like to reassure parents and carers that all our schools are safe as Covid-19 safety measures are in place.
"When cases are identified in schools this often indicates what is happening in the wider community – for this reason everyone in the local community needs to be alert.
“New variants and mutations of the Coronavirus underline why we all need to continue to play our part to help supress and control the spread of the virus."
Consultant in Communicable Disease for Public Health England West Midlands, Musarrat Afza said: “We are investigating a small cluster of cases of a variant strain of COVID-19 in the Hadley and Leegomery areas which are believed to be linked. PHE is monitoring the situation closely and all necessary public health interventions are being undertaken.
“For now, our advice remains the same: the best way to stop the spread of the virus is to observe social distancing and abide by the restrictions in place.”