A case of the South African strain of Covid has been detected in Stafford borough (Picture: Getty Images)
Anyone who lives or works in Stafford borough has been advised to get a Covid test after a resident tested positive for the South African variant.
The person had no links to international travel, Stafford Borough Council said today. There is currently no evidence of the strain spreading throughout the community.
Dr Richard Harling, the county council’s director of health and care said: ‘In Staffordshire we are asking everyone who has a legitimate reason for being out and about during lockdown, to make sure they get tested at least weekly at one of our community testing centres for people without symptoms.
‘We know that one in three people who have the virus show no symptoms, and this will help us identify more people with Covid who should be isolating, which will help stop the spread of infection.
‘In the case of residents who test positive in Stafford borough, we will also check to see whether they have the South African variant.’
The Stafford borough resident has since recovered from the virus, and contact tracing has established they had no known contact with people in their local area whilst infectious.
The resident has since recovered from the virus (Picture: Getty Images)
Anyone with links to the area is urged to get a Covid test (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
Scientists have said the South African mutation can be more infectious than other strains of the virus, and may be resistant to immunity from previous Covid infection.
However, there is no evidence it is more deadly than other variants, and it is unlikely to become the dominant strain in the UK.
Community testing for people without symptoms is available in every borough and district, and the county council plans to offer additional testing capacity and screening for the variant in Stafford borough.
Dr Nic Coetzee, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health England Midlands, said: ‘With new variants emerging all the time and spreading more rapidly, it is not surprising that a case of the South African variant has been found in Staffordshire.
There is no evidence the variant is circulating in the community (Picture: Reuters)
‘While there is currently no evidence of the South African variant circulating in the community, we want to be proactive in testing people and stopping the spreading of infection.
‘This is a timely reminder to everyone to continue to follow the rules, stay at home, and if they do have essential reasons to leave their home then get tested regularly.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.